How to fix duplicate content issues in Shopify? (2023)

Dealing with duplicate content issues is an important part of technical SEO. Today we will explain what duplicate content is. We'll also show you how to identify and fix duplicate content issues in Shopify.


  • What is duplicate content and why is it an SEO problem?
  • What is a normal label and why is it important?
  • Handling duplicate content in Shopify
  • conclusion

What is duplicate content and why is it an SEO problem?

Duplicate content generally refers to significant blocks of content within or between domains that either completely match other content or are noticeably similar. This is mainly not misleading.

Source:Google, Avoid creating duplicate content

Duplicate content is one of the most common SEO problems Shopify store owners face. Examples of duplicate content include:

  • Product pages that appear on multiple URLs (eg a collection page or collection pages, an "On Sale", a "Bestseller" page, a "Checkout" page, etc.).
  • Pages with identical or very similar content. For example, duplicate product pages, identical product descriptions, similar blog posts, duplicate pages caused by pagination (e.g., etc.
  • Your main domain and the domain managed by Shopify ie. the "myshopify" version of your domain.
  • The http:// version of your domain and the https:// version of your domain.
  • www. version of your domain and non-www. version of your domain.

In general, Google does not take action against duplicate content unless its intent is to mislead and manipulate results in the SERPs.

Let's put this to bed once and for all, folks: There is no such thing as a "duplicate content penalty." At least not in the way most people mean it when they say it.

There are certain penalties associated with the idea of ​​having the same content as another site - for example, if you take content from other sites and repost it, or if you repost content without adding any additional value. These tactics are clearly described (and discouraged) in ourWebmaster guidelines.

Source:Google Demystifies "Duplicate Content Penalty"

However, duplicate content can damage your rankings, which can lead to lost traffic and lost sales opportunities. That's why it's important to address duplicate content issues early.

Below, we'll discuss some of the most common duplicate content issues that Shopify store owners may encounter:

  • Duplicate product pages
  • Identical or very similar product descriptions
  • Your primary domain and the domain managed by Shopify

Duplicate product pages

Duplicate product pages can occur when you associate a product page with a collection. This is because when you link a product to a collection, the product page can be accessed via an additional URL:

  • - product website URL
  • - New product page URL (generated when product is added to a collection)

In Shopify, you can associate a product with more than one collection. This means that the platform will generate even more dynamic URLs. But at Shopify, everything/collections/sample-collection/products/sample-productPages contain a normal tag in the associatedproducts/sample productpage. So there is no need to worry about duplicate content issues.

However, be aware that your internal links may point to URL variations instead of the original version (or master copy) of the page, i.e. the product page. This will split the ranking signals between the different pages (instead of consolidating them) and can confuse Google as to which page you want to appear in the SERPs.

You can also reach the same product page in other ways (pay attention to the components in bold):


In addition, other factors can affect the product page URL, e.g. product variations, such as sizes, colors, prints, etc. And the filtering and sorting options can change the URL of the collection page that the product is linked to.

URL parameters (eg if you share a page on Facebook, Twitter, etc.) can also create problems with duplicate content. However, as a Shopify store owner, you don't have to worry about this, as Shopify automatically adds a regular self-referencing tag to the URL without parameters.

As you can see, the same product page can have many different URLs.

A client knows that all these URLs point to the same page. As humans, we understand that a product page can be accessed in different ways – just as we know that we can get from point A to point B using different paths. No matter which route we take, we arrive at the same final destination.

However, search engines do not have this context - in a search engine, all these URLs point to different pages. In other words, they don't perceive these pages as the same page with different URLs. They see all these URLs as different pages with the same (ie duplicate) content. Your job as a store owner is to tell them that this is the same page that you can reach via multiple URLs. We'll show you how in the section on dealing with duplicate content in Shopify.

Identical or very similar product descriptions

The same or similar product descriptions can easily arise if:

  • Are your products very similar or do you create a separate product page for each product variant
  • You are a dropshipper and you use the product descriptions from the suppliers

It is not difficult to deal with identical or similar product descriptions. However, it is time consuming. Basically, you need to assess the quality of your product descriptions.

  • If they are unique and describe each product in detail, there is nothing to worry about.
  • If they look alike, you need to do some damage control. You need to be creative and change each description to be informative, engaging and most importantly, unique. Learn more about creating good product descriptions →4 Ecommerce Link Building Tactics [Working Perfectly in 2021] Shareable Products: The Future is Now

Your primary domain and the domain managed by Shopify

Shopify maintains two versions of your site:

  • Your primary domain - the domain that Google crawls and indexes
  • The domain managed by Shopify - the "myshopify" version of your domain

Similar to the URL variations we discussed above, this can cause problems with duplicate content. Fortunately, there is an easy solution. Open your Shopify store admin panel > Sales channels > Online store > Domains.

How to fix duplicate content issues in Shopify? (1)

Under "Main Domain" you should see the following message: "Traffic from all your domains is being redirected to this main domain". If this is the case, there is nothing to worry about.

However, you may also see the following message: "Traffic from your domains will not be redirected to this primary domain." If this is the case, you need to act immediately, as this means that Google will take into account both your main domain and the domain managed by Shopify. This means that stock signals can be split across multiple pages and Google can get confused about which version of your site to index. To solve this problem, click on "Enable Redirection".

Note: This will also redirect traffic from all URL variations of your home page (eg http://, https://, www. and the non-www. version of your home page) to your main domain.

How to fix duplicate content issues in Shopify? (2)

Duplicate content is a common SEO problem that all marketers face. The biggest problem with duplicate content is that it confuses search engines.

For example, to provide a better user experience, search engines rarely display multiple versions of the same page in the SERPs. If there is duplicate content, the search engines will not know which is the original version of the page ie. which version of the page to index and which to ignore. Instead, they will be forced to choose on the spot which version best suits the query. This can result in Google showing a variant of your home page instead of the home page itself.

Also, if there is duplicate content, search engines don't know whether to direct the same chapter to one page or split it across multiple pages (or rather, multiple versions of the same page).

Additionally, other website owners who want to link to your site may also get confused about which page to link to. As a result, instead of having backlinks to a single page (the homepage), you can have backlinks to different versions of the same page.

All of these can negatively affect your website's ranking.

There are several ways to deal with duplicate content. The most common way to solve duplicate content problems is to use normal tags - the process is known as normalization. You can also use 301 redirects or noindex meta tags.

Each of these options requires a different level of SEO expertise. Of course, each of these requires a high level of technical expertise. If you do not have such expertise in-house, you should consider contacting oneShopify-expertwhich can help you deal with duplicate content.

But if you're determined to do it yourself, stick with us - in a moment we'll explain in more detail how to handle duplicate content in Shopify. But first, let's take a closer look at common tags and why they're important.


Learn more about duplicate content →Moz, Duplicate Content

What is a normal label and why is it important?

What is a normal label?

A canonical tag is a way of telling search engines that a particular Uniform Resource Locator (URL) represents the master copy of a page. This helps avoid problems caused by identical or "duplicate" content appearing on multiple URLs.


The normal tags () are pieces of HTML code that tell search engines that you have many URLs with duplicate or extremely similar content. Basically, a canonical tag tells search engines whether to treat a page as the primary version of a set of duplicate URLs or as a variant of the home page. In this way, canonical tags help search engines determine which page to index.

In addition, normal tags consolidate link signals and ranking signals on duplicate pages or pages with extremely similar content. They also prevent Google from crawling duplicate pages, which optimizes your CrawlBudget and positively affects your ranking.

Note that setting regular tags is not an SEO requirement and you will not be penalized if you do not. Even if you don't specify canonical tags, Google will do its best to understand the relationship between duplicate URLs on your site and try to determine the master versions of your pages.

However, using canonical tags makes this process easier and ensures that Google indexes exactly the URL you want - that is, the main version of the page, rather than one of its variants.

Also remember that you must meet certain conditions for Google to accept your regular tags. For example, when linking, you should always link to the normal URL instead of a duplicate URL. This will help Google understand your preference.

What is the difference between a regular tag and a regular URL?

Normal tags are in the section

of HTML on a web page. They look like this:

As you might have already guessed, there are two types of common tags:

  • Self-reference - a regular tag that points to the URL of the page itself. This type of regular tag tells Google that this is the primary (or original) version of the page.
  • Normal tags that refer to another page's URL. The purpose of these tags is to inform Google that a particular page is a copy of the original page.

On the other hand, a normal URL is the URL specified as the starting URL for a number of duplicate pages. According to Google, a canonical URL is the URL of the page that is most representative of a set of duplicate pages.

You can specify your preferred canonical URL using canonical tags. However, regular tags aren't the only way you can specify a regular URL. You can also use 301 redirects - permanent redirects from one URL to another. Note that Shopify automatically creates such redirects when you change a page's URL. If you want to create manual redirects, follow the steps described in this guide →What to consider when migrating

Why should you use normal tags?

Simply put, normalization is the most effective way to deal with duplicate content issues. Another way to deal with duplicate content issues is to use the noindex meta tag. However, this is not recommended as search engines can ignore useful metrics about your site, which can hurt your rankings.

Best practices for using canonical tags

  • Enter a normal URL per page
  • See the correct domain protocol (eg http:// or https://) in your normal URLs
  • Enter either www. version of the URL or not www. version of the URL
  • Unless normalized to another URL, use normal self-referral tags
  • Don't normalize on 301 redirects

How to add common tags to Shopify?

To add a regular tag to Shopify, open Shopify admin > Sales Channels > Online Store > Themes > Actions > Edit Code.

How to fix duplicate content issues in Shopify? (3)

Layout > topic.fluid.

How to fix duplicate content issues in Shopify? (4)

Find the line above the label. Enter the following code:

{{ page_title }}{% if current_tags %} – tagget "{{ current_tags | join: ', ' }}"{% endif %}{% if current_page != 1 %} – Side {{ current_page }}{% endif %}{% medmindre side_titel indeholder %} – {{ }}{% endunless %}

{% if page_description %}

{% Exit If %}

Click Save.

Note that many Shopify themes define a basic canonical in the theme file. As a result, any URL generated by the site has a self-referencing canonical tag.

This can cause problems with duplicate content, as some URL variants may also have common tags.

Tag pages (eg are examples of such pages. Tag pages are variants of your main category pages. If they have their own common tags, Google can get confused about which page to index – the main category page or the tag page. We show you how to fix this problem in the section below!

Ultimately, understanding how normal tags work and how to use normalization correctly is integral to your success as a Shopify merchant - it will help you deal with duplicate content, improve your rankings, drive relevant traffic to your store and benefit your efficiency.

Handling duplicate content in Shopify

In this section, we'll show you how to check your Shopify store for duplicate content issues.

We will also address several duplicate content issues:

  • Duplicate content caused by dynamically generated collection page URLs
  • Duplicate content caused by paging
  • Duplicate content created by Shopify tags

Auditing your Shopify store and identifying duplicate content issues

The first step in dealing with duplicate content is to check your normal tags. To do this, you can use a website audit tool such asSEMrush Site Checker. The tool can help you identify some canonical tag issues:

  • AMP pages that don't have a regular tag. To solve this problem, add a rel=“canonical” tag to the section on the AMP page.
  • There is no redirect or normal to the https version of your website (from the http version). To solve this problem, add a normal tag to the http version of the page that refers to the https version of the page.
  • Pages with broken canonical links.
  • Pages with multiple canonical URLs.

Dynamically generated collection page URLs

As you already know, Shopify generates multiple URLs for the same product page. For example, when a product is linked to a collection, Shopify creates an additional URL: Shopify also automatically adds a canonical tag that tells Google that this URL is a variant of the product's website URL: This is convenient and can help you avoid duplicate content issues.

However, internal links may still point to the various non-canonical versions of the URL. That's why it's a good practice to remove the line of code responsible for dynamically generating collection URLs.

To do this, go to your Shopify Admin > Sales Channels > Online Store > Themes > Actions > Edit Code (Note that you must have access to the Shopify theme.liquid files. You must also know how Shopify Liquid works and you is comfortable editing code.) > Go to the "Snippets" folder and find the file "product-grid-item.liquid" > Find the following line of code:

This will override the code so that your internal links point to the product's website URL, regardless of which collections the product appears in.

Note that this will not delete the URL - it will still be a live page and will still contain a normal tag referencing the product page, eg . a regular tag that tells Google that the product page is the main page and that its URL is the home address. This way, Google knows which page to index.

Also, do not add noindex meta tag to URL. Adding a noindex meta tag to a page with a regular tag creates a conflict for Google.

Last but not least, you must ensure that all internal links point to the product's website, i.e. the normal URL (eg instead of one of its variations (eg yourshopifystore .com/collections/ sample-collection/ products/sample-product).

Duplicate content caused by paging

Let's look again at the example of duplicate content caused by pagination:

  • original URL
  • a variation of the original URL

For a human, this is the same side. But to a search engine, these are two different pages with duplicate content.

To solve this problem, Google recommends including rel tags that show the previous and next pages:

Remember that in this case there is no uniform approach. Solving this problem requires a good understanding of JavaScript. You must also be comfortable editing code. If you do not have such expertise internally, we recommend that you contact aShopify-expertwho can customize the Shopify theme code.

Duplicate content created by Shopify tags

In Shopify, you can add tags to products. Tags can help you organize your products and provide a more informed and hassle-free shopping experience. However, tags create variations of the URLs on your collection pages. For example & Both URLs are variations of the main category page URL - In other words, tags can easily cause duplicate content problems.

To fix these issues, first check which of your tag pages are indexed. Then check each page to see if it duplicates any of your main landing pages. If you find tag pages that could be considered duplicate content, you can remove them from the Google index by using the "noindex" meta tag.

You can also override the normal default tag implementation and prioritize the main gallery URL over the tag page URL. To do this, edit the theme.liquid file and insert the following code into the section


{% if template contains "collection" and current_tags %}

{% Other things %}

{% Exit If %}

This way you will be sure that the gallery tag pages have a regular tag that points to the main gallery. So tell Google that the collection page is the main version of the page and the tag page is its variant.

Again, be careful - if you add a noindex meta tag to a tag page, you shouldn't add a regular tag (as this will create a conflict for Google).


We hope you now have a better understanding of what duplicate content is and why it is an SEO problem.

We've explained what normalization is and how you can spot and fix the most common duplicate content issues in Shopify – duplicate content caused by dynamically generated collection page URLs, duplicate content caused by pagination, and duplicate content generated by Shopify tags.

If you do not have the technical expertise to resolve these issues yourself, we encourage you to contact aShopify-expertwho can make them.

If you do, we hope this guide gives you the confidence and knowledge to implement the changes yourself.

If you have any further questions, just leave a comment below. And stay tuned for the next article in the "Technical SEO" series! Next month we'll tackle broken links.


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