Duplicate content and Shopify – In this article I will explain what duplicate content is, why it’s important for SEO and how to fix a potential issue with your Shopify store.
If you want to lear the basics of SEO for your store, make sure you check my other articles:
- Optimise Shopify Page Title and Description
- How to Add Shopify Alt Tags to Theme Images
- How to add Alt Tags to Shopify Product Images
- How to Add Google Analytics to Shopify
- How to Add SEO Headings in Shopify
- How to Optimise Your Shopify Site Structure
- How to Edit Shopify Robots.txt File
- How to Find and Submit Your Shopify Sitemap
- How to Verify Your Shopify Store with Google
- How to Create a URL Redirect in Shopify
- Link Building and Shopify
- How to Compress Images on Shopify
- How to Improve Shopify Page Load Speed
- Optimise Your Shopify Blog Posts
- How to Backup Your Shopify Store
- Enable AMP in Shopify
If you need help with ranking your store on search engines, feel free to check our Shopify SEO services.
What is Duplicate Content?
This is What Google says about duplicate content:
Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin.
So if you have two pages with identical or ‘appreciably similar’ content, Google considers it as duplicates.
Why is Duplicate Content Important for SEO?
In principle, Google doesn’t know whether your duplicates are deceptive or not. It seems to think they are not.
Having said that, duplicating content might be used as a way to trick search engines and get an advantage in the rankings.
Here’s Google again:
Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.
What this means is that in the worst case scenario, if Google thinks you are trying to cheat, it might take action against your website.
This means your Shopify store might be taken off the Google search index.
Duplicate Content and Shopify
There are generally three ways you could be generating duplicates in your Shopify store:
- Duplicate product pages
- Identical product descriptions
- Your domain and myshopify version of it
Duplicate Product Pages
This generally happens when you associate a product page with a collection.
Collections are very useful parts of the Shopify framework. They help organise your products into categories.
However, each time you associate a product with a collection, Shopify created an additional URL, which results in two pages with identical content:
To avoid a duplication issue, you can either set up a 301 redirect or a canonical tag.
Identical Product Descriptions
Identical product descriptions are very common, especially when you have products that are very similar to each other. This also occurs when you sell products that are available on other stores and use the same description.
When possible, try always to differentiate your product descriptions from other websites. This will not only avoid you any issue with duplicate content. It will also give you a potential advantage in search results.
Your Domain and the Myshopify Version
You custom domain is the domain you want Google and other search engines to include in their index.
However, Shopify keeps two versions of your website, your custom domain and the myshopify version of it.
If this is not taken care of, it might cause duplicate content issues.
To fix this:
- Login to your Shopify store admin
- Click on ‘Online Store’ and select ‘Domains’
- If you see the message ‘Traffic from your domains is not being redirected to this primary domain’ then the two versions of your store are both being considered by Google
- To fix this, click on ‘Enable Redirection’