Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by RoxBlog Rox on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, 09/15/2013).

I have pages that could appear as duplicated. Do you have any advice?

I have a web site offering the same service in several Cities. I would like to create a page for each city covered by the service. The pages would be very similar between them but clearly will have different URLs. I`m aware to get some penalization from google since the pages could appear duplicate pages. 
Do you have any advice?
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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions Facebook & G+ community.

  • W.E. Jonk: If you cannot provide any unique high quality content I wouldn't create it.
  • RoxBlog Rox: Hi +W.E. Jonk ;  ;They are landing pages. I already created few, not all just to try and they are first page in SERP for the right keyword. But since the page should be thousands i'm aware!
  • Manikanta Reddy Doragacharla: Hi
    I have dout reg. G plus
    For my G Plus a/c how many pages can i create ?
  • W.E. Jonk: +RoxBlog Rox ;I do understand that when you look at your competitors that you see that they are creating pages targeting specific cities. By itself this isn't a problem. However if the different city pages are more or less duplicates, then it might not be best practise. And that is how I read your post: Duplicating a page, change the URL and instead of mentioning city A you swap that for city B.

    The problem with that is that you are creating doorway pages. Google defines doorway pages as:

    Doorway pages are typically large sets of poor-quality pages where each page is optimized for a specific keyword or phrase. [1]

    What low-quality is or how much is a large set I don't know but you are taking a risk.

    Besides the manual thing you might get hit by Panda. That is, if you have many low-quality pages your whole site might see a reduce in the rankings. Panda was especially designed for publisher to:

    not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals [2]

    There are probably more things one can mention but I showed you why G might not appreciate this practise from the Guidelines point a view and from an algo point a view. ;

    [1] ;https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2721311?hl=en
    [2] ;http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/05/more-guidance-on-building-high-quality.html
  • RoxBlog Rox: +W.E. Jonk ;thank you for your comprehensive explanation. But in this case I'm really not using a trick. I really need those pages. They are not poor quality but Google can interpret them as duplicate. I will find a different solution in order to do not get a penalization. Thanks
  • W.E. Jonk: What you can do is having unique content for the cities you are targeting. For example customer testimonies or work that you did in that particular city. If you have an office you can set up Google Places or other listings. You can also do a special offer. ;

    In general try to create additional value for people from a particular city. Why should they land on the city targeted page instead of a generic product page?
  • RoxBlog Rox: ok. Thank you Very much. I will try to implement it. ;
  • Justin Y: +RoxBlog Rox also maybe talk about your service compared to others that offer the same service. What separates you from them? What more can you provide or touch base on what others do not provide that might be unique. Look at the trends and check the queries space for the cities you're trying to target to see how should be optimizing for each city. Run each page through copyscape to avoid duplicate content when you're finished creating each targeted page. 
  • RoxBlog Rox: Hi +Justin Y ;thank you for the advice and for let me know copyscape. I checked one the pages I have already online and it results no copy ware found online. This sounds good for me! :-) Anyway in some City i'm not on first page Serp so I planned to focus more on the content of those pages in order to improve positioning. For your reference I post 2 links to different cities in order you can see what are differences between city pages. Bari page http://www.bnrgreenmobility.it/vendita-biciclette-elettriche-bari/
    Cosenza page ;http://www.bnrgreenmobility.it/vendita-biciclette-elettriche-cosenza/
  • Justin Y: You're welcome. It's going to be a bit of a challenge to get on the top of SERPs because of local results and how Google treats them. You can break some ground if your domain has some good authority but also know that people might be paying for clicks as well through SEM, especially if its ecommerce. 

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, 09/15/2013).