My site uses mod_rewrite to make friendly URL's, which is supposed to make finding our content easier for both search engines bots and humans alike.

However, my Google Webmaster Tools is now alerting me of supposed duplicate content in titles and meta descriptions because of this. Some pages appear to be indexed two or three times because of dynamic URL re-writing.

Is this something I should worry about? I always hear that Google frowns heavily on duplicate content. But what if something LOOKS like duplicate content but really is not? Is there an obvious solution I don't know about?


Multiple URL's leading to the same content is pretty much the definition of duplicate content. Remember that a source' URL is its unique identifier.

You should find a way to save the optimal URL for each article in your database. That way, when a page is loaded, you check wether the requested URL is the unqie URL for this page, and if not, you forward the visitor (and Google) using a 301 Permanently Moved header to the unique URL.

This way you will not have Google penalize you for duplicate content, and you will gather all the link juice to a single page, instead of spreading it out to several.