More often we heard from people, their entire site is ranked well but homepage found no where for its keywords. Sometimes you may find your homepage in country level Google domains but on main Google site, It couldn’t be found!
In most cases, this could be the canonical (internal duplication) issues across your domain.
To diagnosis duplicate content SEO issues
- Check for site:example.com query (example is your domain name).
Check if your homepage comes on first place?
- In above query if homepage ranked at first place, check for similar homepages like a content, If they exists, search results would be like…
- If site:example.com query doesn’t show your homepage first.Check for duplicate (canonical) content at category level. Here are the steps…
- Go to Google Webmaster Tools and Check the HTML suggestions. If you can find Duplicate titles, check for the content on those pages. If content is different just change the page title but if content is the same, you have to unify the duplicate content.
- Check for duplicate issues at category level.
Could you find the search results with the same titles? If yes, there are canonical issues on your website.
To resolve duplicate content SEO issues
- There are number of ways to resolve this issues carefully.
- Check your analytics, if your duplicate content (on secondary) pages ranks higher than desired page, Don’t 404 those pages, else your site may fall into very long filter (6 months+ or 1 years+ penalty).
- Use 301 headers to redirect secondary pages to desired pages
- If 301 redirecting is not possible, use meta canonical tags.
- You can specify your canonical pages through headers also.
i.e. X-Canonical-URI: example.com/canonical-page
- Alternatively you can use meta tags. Just use noindex,follow meta robots tag on secondary canonical pages.
- One slow but reliable solution would be blocking duplicate content through robots.txt