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How to manage duplicate content / similar content


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On my forum there is lots of similar content because members are posting similar topics
They are asking the community about a similar request, so they get similar responses.

Google doesn't like similar content or duplicate content. It could be about the title or the content itself, or both

Here is an advice about this on google support : 

  • Minimize similar content: If you have many pages that are similar, consider expanding each page or consolidating the pages into one. For instance, if you have a travel site with separate pages for two cities, but the same information on both pages, you could either merge the pages into one page about both cities or you could expand each page to contain unique content about each city.

So, the first solution is : merge topics

--> But if you merge two topics, the timeline could be broken (Message 1 topic 1 / Message 2 topic 1 / Message 1 topic 2 / Message 3 topic 1 ....)
--> The topic merged will have no sense.

The second solution is : add content to make difference between topics

--> Lots of work
--> Topic owners won't be very happy to see that.

I have already tested the first solution on the past with a very usual topic subject. Now it is the most viewed topic (it gives about 5% of the traffic, and my forum have more than 22 000 topics) 

A third solution is to add a meta no index, follow to all the topics about a subject excepting the best one (the one with the more powerful information about this subject)
I am thinking about this last solution but not sure it is the best one

Another problem I didn't find a good solution, is about this google advice : 

I tried this app : 

But I still have lots of url ending with / or without / on google analytics (or google webmaster tools). 

Did anyone tried to manage this kind of SEO problem on his community ? Any advice about it ?
Thank you !

(yes I know, content is king, and all others SEO advices are bulls..t ;) )




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Yes, it can help for some of the new post

My forum is about coins collecting. Most of post begin like this : "how much is my coin" or "what is this coin"
Then when they got a good answer, a moderator change the topic title to a formated title like this (for example) : USA - One Dime 1922 - Value
If one year after a new member ask the same question for the same coin, it will still put a title like "How much is my coin" or "Need help"...

Of course it is a particular case, because on my community moderator are changing topics title.
But if they didn"t do that, it will be the same problem. User will get these similar titles : 
"How much is my coin"
"What is this coin"
And most of user want to have a dedicated answer for their problem. They don't like to spend time to read 10 or 20 similar topics.

But, thank you Adriano for this suggestion. I will contacting you soon about the SEO request (I was waiting the classifieds&links directory releases to remind you about it ;) )

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