How Facebook likes help prevent duplicate content

Duplicate content is one of the biggest issues in SEO. I wrote an article about common causes and solutions of duplicate content recently and it was quite well received, which helped me to understand that lots of people still suffer from it.

One of the issues I’ve always found with explaining the issue to site owners / managers is that they don’t feel the “pain” as much as you do. For instance in Magento SEO projects: when there are two pages for a product (unfortunately a common issue with Magento), they both work fine, and people can order from both just fine as well.

I’ve found a solution though now that helps me get rid of the issue: putting Facebook like buttons on those pages. Quite soon, they’ll find out that the like counts for the two product pages aren’t the same, or you could just show them that they’re different. In my experience, this helps me convince my clients to “do the right thing”, as they’ll want the combined, higher, like count for their pages. The same trick will work with Twitter Tweet buttons by the way!

Do you have tricks like this to convince your clients? Share them in the comments!

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14 Responses

  1. Jeroen van EckBy Jeroen van Eck on 7 April, 2011

    So true.

    If Google +1 gets adopted by the users it will probably become an even more important reason to use one location for the same information. You have to make sure the page that receives the +1 from the user is the same URL as the page in your organic and paid results. Then your search results also benefit from +1′s assigned from the specific page. So it also helps convincing clients to stop using PPC and SEO landing pages.

  2. Seal @ Buscar ParejaBy Seal @ Buscar Pareja on 7 April, 2011

    I can’t seeing it clear, since if the content is exactly the same one, except for the button of facebook, surely that will not be interpreted as a duplicated content?

    • Peter WillisBy Peter Willis on 7 April, 2011

      I think you need to re-read the post, as you have missed the point :)

  3. zimbrulBy zimbrul on 8 April, 2011

    I totally agree with Jeroen van Eck. I’ve got a (stupid) question though: where the G+1 will show your click?

    • Jeroen van EckBy Jeroen van Eck on 8 April, 2011

      You mean where it will show what urls you have plussed? They will be visible on your Google profile and for your social circle within the search results (possibly later as well on the pages your visiting, like Facebook’s like button).

  4. Rasmus HimmelstrupBy Rasmus Himmelstrup on 8 April, 2011

    That is an excellent way to show clients why dup content can be a big issue. The same can be done by inserting a comment field. One page will usually get a lot more comments than the other.

  5. Nico OudBy Nico Oud on 8 April, 2011

    A short, but very interesting article! Thanks for sharing!

  6. HipHopStanBy HipHopStan on 8 April, 2011

    What about when a user posts a comment on a blog and then they’re directed towards the comment URL link as follow:

    and then they hit the Facebook Like button while on the comment URL link instead of the actual post URL:

    Is that duplicate content Joost? Is there a way around this?

  7. Kevin ThomsonBy Kevin Thomson on 8 April, 2011

    interesting tip and I can just see the clients distress at their ‘likes’ being diluted (lol) which is exactly the problem with duplicate content, although this is usually invisible to most people without some SEO knowledge.

  8. BobBy Bob on 9 April, 2011

    Great tip, is singular, i never think on like buttomon this way, simply great, Greetens!

  9. Ronen BekermanBy Ronen Bekerman on 9 April, 2011

    Hi, cool trick.

    I use service to gather stats on links I shorten. this way you can have click numbers on the original URL’s and compare them.

    But what I like the most is that shows you how much clicks originated from your account vs. the total clicks made on that original URL all over the web by those who used service to shorten it… since is very popular, I guess their stats are on the good side ;)

    You can learn a lot by monitoring this stats!

    Here’s a tip for you – A competitor is short linking to a URL with … you can short link too to the same URL and compare yourself to him.

  10. Drew HammondBy Drew Hammond on 12 April, 2011

    Good idea… Just showing clients the Analytics reports work very well too but the average person can relate better to Facebook “likes”

  11. Micha WacquierBy Micha Wacquier on 20 April, 2011

    Hey Joost,

    Good trick to convince your client. Often we are not only challenged by technical issues (such as duplicate content) but also communication issues (convincing your client). Unfortunately, it is not always possible to install a ‘like’ or ‘commenting’ functionality to every page. What are your solutions to these scenarios, besides Analytics?

  12. B. MooreBy B. Moore on 29 April, 2011

    We are about to launch a complete overall haul of our site next week built with Magento. You have me very nervous about it…. I guess I will dig through your site for info to calm my nerves about Magento.

    So in the process of reading your posts on Magento I see you have not written any post specifically about Magento in the past year.

    I thinks it time for a new post! please!

    Heres a topic for you… Magento with Solr Search.

    Or can you recommend any other sites discussing Magento? please!