Topic: URL structure and SEO (is this a fail?)

Hey all, I gathered this was the most appropriate forum for a URL structure question, but if not feel free to move it.

A few months ago, I learned that my site (jobstr.com) had been doing something very wrong, in that we did not have a proper 301 htaccess redirect set up for jobstr.com vs. www.jobstr.com meaning that Google was essentially crawling each of those as its own site, thus cannibalizing our own SEO; explained here: http://www.webmarketingnow.com/tips/int … t-fix.html

So we fixed that.

But I just discovered another peculiar quirk in our URL structure, and I'm posting because I'm concerned it might be doing the same thing: on every individual Q&A page, the "/threads/show/" portion of the URL can be replaced with /t/s/ and it will take you to exactly the same place.  For example, these two URLs take the user to exactly the same page:
http://jobstr.com/threads/show/4371-football-ref
http://jobstr.com/t/s/4371-football-ref

I don't know why the URL structure was set up like that, but my question boils down simply to the following: how can I tell if Google and other SE's are crawling & indexing those two pages as if they were two distinct entities or not?

IOW, I know that in some cases, a URL's flexible structure is a convenience, but won't necessarily ding my SEO (case in point: http://jobstr.com/t/s/4371-football-ref takes you to the same place as http://jobstr.com/t/s/4371-look-ma-nohands << the only routing variable is the number 4371-...it doesn't matter what you put after it.)

But I want to know if the threads/show/ = t/s/ thing is akin to the 301 htaccess thing, in that it may have been having a substantial negative SEO impact.

Last edited by jobstr_dan (2012-09-28 13:39:50)