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Sorting on Category Pages may cause Duplicate Content.

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  • Sorting on Category Pages may cause Duplicate Content.

    Selecting a sort order on a category page creates a "new" category page. It appears as a page with its own name though the information remains exactly the same unless pagination is involved. This only applies to category pages with products.

    All can easily be found in Google Analytics if you have not used the custom page name feature in a way that changes the 3dCart designation for category pages.

    In Google Analytics:
    Navigate to Behavior - Site Content - All Pages
    Select the advanced search
    In the open box next to "contains" type "-1-"
    Open" + Add a dimension or metric"
    Under dimensions select "page"
    Type" _c_" in the open box
    Select "Apply" to generate the report

    The results are in the form /pagname_c_1-x.html which we interpret as follows:

    The "pagename" is the original category page
    The "c" designates a category page.
    The "1" designates a category page created by selecting a sort order.
    The "x" is a number which depends on how many sort choices are available. It designates which sorting choice has been selected and corresponds with the order assigned to the available sorting choices.

    We were able to generate these for several years of data.

    If the search engines, especially Google, treat this as duplicate content, it is probably best if 3dCart finds a way to automatically keep these pages out of Google's index.

    If search engines do not treat this as duplicate content, it poses a dilemma. On the one hand, it distorts the page view count in Google Analytics.

    On the other, we can analyze these pages to see the sort order customers tend to prefer and may be able to use navigation reports to determine if any of these pages led to a purchase.

    We are not able to see these pages in Smarter Stats because the category pages do not appear in the reports other than the "In-Site Referrers Report." This is a separate issue, another trouble ticket.

    Please correct our analysis and/or details if and where we are wrong.
    Last edited by Luxlife; 08-16-2014, 06:52 PM.