Location Pages Cause DUPLICATE CONTENT Issues?
Creating location pages is one of the most potent weapons for a local SEO. You can literally make hundreds of those pages to target a very specific search intent — the intent after a product or service in a particular area. For example, “Plumber in Chicago” would be one of those keywords. Unfortunately, those keywords mostly have a tiny search volume. Therefore, it can be beneficial to create multiple pages to increase search volume.
Also, creating that many pages means spending a lot of time or money on writing and developing. That’s the reason why a lot of SEOs started duplicating those pages – to avoid huge expenses.
However, a significant number of those people reported problems with indexing and ranking the pages.
What did they do wrong compared to the other group that didn’t have any problems indexing their duplicate content?
What’s important to Google is showing its users pages with distinct content. So if you have duplicate or near-duplicate pages on your site, Google will most likely choose one of the versions to list. This isn’t considered a penalty; it’s just part of Google’s algorithm in 2021. But, of course, in very non-competitive spaces and the rare cases when Google can’t find better results on other sites, it will still show multiple pages of your site on the serp.
How can you avoid duplicate content issues on your site?
Create unique content
This is by far the most effective way to get rid of duplicate content issues. If you create new, unique, and distinct content, it’s tough for Google to perceive it as a duplicate. Of course, you would still need to apply a “one keyword and its synonyms per page” strategy. But if you’re targeting keywords with different search intent, unique content will promise you the highest indexing rate.
Modify pages to make them as distinct as possible.
Google doesn’t want to show its users multiple pages with similar or identical content. However, location pages aren’t meant to satisfy the same search intent. Search intent changes as soon as you change the geo-modifiers on your pages. People searching for a plumber in Miami have a totally different search intent than those searching for a plumber in New York.
However, Google’s algorithm may ignore the intent and treat your page as a duplicate anyway. That’s why many people face duplicate content issues when creating city pages for their websites.
Here’s a list of things you can do to make the content of your page more distinct without having to spend time rewriting much text.
8 proven ways to turn duplicate Pages into ranking machines
#1 Include geo-modifIers
Make sure to include the geo-modifers like “New York” or “Chicago” and the like in
#2 Exclude geo-modifiers
Do not use any other location info and different geo-modifiers on your pages. Even footer or header info could affect Google’s perception of your pages.
#3 Linking out
Link out to geo-related pages like the city’s gov or Wikipedia page
#4 Link GMB
Insert a link to the respective GMB page (in case there is a GMB profile you’re using in the same area)
#5 Review Buttons
Add a “leave a review” or/and “read reviews” button in case you’re using a GMB in that area
#6 Internal Links
Add internal links that point to different pages than your extisting pages. (Even if it’s just the order you change)
#7 Embed a Google Map
Embed a Google Map showing either directions to your business or a service area.
#8 Showcase Reviews - social proof
Showcase different reviews on each of your pages.
If you apply the tips in this article, you’ll increase the chance of getting your duplicates ranked tremendously. I’ve used the exact same strategy to index and rank hundreds of pages for my clients without changing 90% of the copy.
If you prefer to get the pages indexed through unique content and still save some money, you can easily hire someone on Fiverr or use a tool like conversion.ai to create content at scale.
Thank you for reading. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or feedback.