We have two particular cases of content duplication:

  • Product Manuals
  • Product Videos

For example a Product Manual needs to be downloadable directly from the Product's page. We also have an Information Page with a collection of Manuals. I am concerned because based on visitor data can tell people are downloading the same manual on both pages, probably expecting something different. Likewise we have videos around the website such as a Product Review video on our Reviews page, then we have a video page to easily access all videos. Because of the thumbnail it hasn't been as frequent as the document, but I have identified people watching the same video.

What strategy can be employed to minimize this? One would be removing duplicate content. But there's gotta be another way that allows for the content to be available on specific pages as well as a compilation page without confusing users.

  • What percentage of visitors display this undesired behaviour?
    – Matt Obee
    Oct 28, 2014 at 16:49

1 Answer 1


If I am correct in understanding your question, you want to avoid users from downloading content only to realize after download that its the same.

The concept of visited links has been around from a very long time. In today's world with greater browser capabilities, devices becoming more personal and the ability of cookies to store lot more defaults you can use many techniques to know if the user has already downloaded the content.

YouTube does show videos with a tag "Watched" something like this: enter image description here

If you have icons on your files, adding a small tick for downloaded content will give a clear indication to users that they have already downloaded this content and will avoid the problem you described. For example these two icons below: enter image description here

Hope I helped you with your problem.

  • Hmm interesting. I'll have to look into implementation at least on the files part. I don't embed the YouTube directly so not sure how that could work. This does help though. I'll give it a day or two to see what the Community thinks before marking it correct though.
    – Ryan
    Oct 28, 2014 at 23:42

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