Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Philip Crothers on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Monday, July 22, 2013).

For duplicate pages, canonical, index or noindex?

So, we`re a service where you can book different hairdressing services from a number of different salons (site being worked on). We`re doing both a male and female version of the site on the same domain which users are can select between on the homepage.

The differences are largely cosmetic (allowing the designers to be more creative and have a bit of fun and to have dedicated male grooming landing pages), but I was wondering about duplicate pages.

While most of the pages on each version of the site will be unique (i.e. male service in location vs female service in location with the female taking precedent when there are duplicates), what should we do about the likes of the "About" page?

Pages like this would both be unique in wording but essentially offer the same information and does it make sense to to index two different "About" pages, even if the titles vary?

My question is whether, for these duplicate pages, you would set the more popular one as the preferred version canonically, leave them both to be indexed or noindex the lesser version entirely? 

Hope tis makes sense, thanks!

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OUR ANSWERS

Answers from the Dumb SEO Questions Panelists.

  • Tim Capper: As far as i understand it will only be the generic pages that will be duplicate "about us" sitemap, accessability, T&C etc etc. well why have seperate ones ? just have one page, the site is on same domain correct . If you insist on creating 2, then canaonicalise to the one you want displayed in search. Even if you did not canon, G will only display 1 of the pages. PS for the odd page here and there, you wont get penalised.
YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Brent Wildman: Best case scenario is to make them different and unique. If you're going through all the trouble have two different versions of the same sight, then it makes sense to have engaging content that is specifically targeted to males or females.

     ;A good example I like to use is Old Spice. It's 100% for men, and the writing and style reflects that, which in turn leads to more engaged and relevant users.
  • Tim Capper: As far as i understand it will only be the generic pages that will be duplicate "about us" sitemap, accessability, T&C etc etc.

    well why have seperate ones ? just have one page, the site is on same domain correct .

    If you insist on creating 2, then canaonicalise to the one you want displayed in search.

    Even if you did not canon, G will only display 1 of the pages.

    PS for the odd page here and there, you wont get penalised.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on G+, Monday, July 22, 2013).

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