Google’s John Mueller Explains Duplicate Content Issue

by Anil Parmar

Duplicate content on your website can influence the rankings of your individual pages.

John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst issued a clarification, in regards to the difference between the qualified content and the one that is considered duplicate or copied. He does explain this looking to the confusion going on due to the trailing slash in the hostnames or protocols.

Let us understand in detail what John Mueller has to say from the Tweet:


Trailing Slash on Hostnames Don’t Matter

In the above image, option (A) has the trailing slash at the end of the hostname, whereas option (B) doesn’t have the trailing slash on the hostname. According to the Sir Mueller’s clarification, both of them are considered equal in terms of Google ranking. This was for the website URL without an SSL layer (Security Certificate). Henceforth, option (C) and option (D) with SSL security, they are also equal.

Concluding the point, trailing slash doesn’t matter at the end of the hostname, which means that Google’s algorithms will choose one URL to show for the content in search.

Different Protocols and Hostnames Do Matter

Here comes the main part to be noticed. Google’s algorithm has two different eyes for the URL with different protocols i.e. http: and https: protocols. As explained by Google’s John Mueller option (A) and (C) are different.

Considering the hostnames with option (C) has URL name and option (E) with URL are not equal. According to the Tweet, both the URL is considered different in case of different hostnames or protocols.

Trailing Slash on Path/File Does Matter

Now talking about the path file in the URL, trailing slash does matter. Look at the options (F) and option (G) in the URL, the trailing slash at the end of the name makes them different.

Thus, the slash at the end of the path file URL is important.

Closing Note

John Mueller’s clarification about what is and what is not a duplicate page to Google is important. Probably, it’s good to have an official clarification. After having an in-depth knowledge on this one can have a better idea.

However, in most of the cases, Google will figure out the best content on the right web page.

So, Good luck and have a pleasant day ahead!