Category and page with the same name

by @travelsforfood (119), 2 months ago

Question in short: Is there an SEO reason to not create a page with the same (or very similar) name as a category?

Background: I have a travel blog with my partner dedicated to Italy. To organize my content, I create categories like Rome, Florence, etc. (so every city and village will be a category). This makes it easy for me to output all Rome (or whatever city) posts into a block whenever I want.

The problem is: for every city and village, I want to create a sort of travel guide, on which you get an overview of all the posts about that 1 city + extra relevant info. Of course, you get this in your category archives. But the problem with archives is that you can’t customize it (well you can, but you’re very limited). The things I want (organize by views instead of date, structure into different sections, to name a few) are not possible.

The only way I can make these guides look the way I want is to create a static page. This would mean that I have a category “Rome” (slug would be: category/rome) as well as a static page “Rome” (slug would be: rome) or “Rome Travel Guide” (slug would be: rome-travel-guide). Not only will the names be (almost) identical, but the content displayed on these pages will be very similar (archives will display all posts and static pages will display all posts in a different order + some extra text probably).

Will this (having both a Rome category and a Rome page) harm my SEO?

I also found information on redirecting. I could redirect my Rome category archive to a static page. But this is only (I believe) a solution on the front-end. I don’t think it changes anything for my SEO? I mean, Google will still see that I have 2 very similar pages. So, it could still harm my ranking?

I am also not sure if no-indexing the category page would be the fix.

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by @ms (4032), 2 months ago

In short; if there is just the list of articles (the order doesn't matter) you shouldn't have another page as it's basically duplicate and you should let your readers switch order by parameter (like /?order=best-match). Otherwise, you should canonize the other page (whatever is of lower priority to you).

If you plan to have unique content on the page, it's perfectly fine to have another one, just remember you're possibly opening up to a cannibalization.

What I did with our site though; I have created category page, which has content on the top and later comes list of articles in that category. So the category page is basically the SPOT (single point of truth) and it will rank and offer articles and eventually products at the same time. I know it's challenge to make it useful for different intents, but at the same time I am maximizing it's SEO potential.

by @travelsforfood (119), 2 months ago

Thank you, this helps a lot!

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