Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Chancer, Nov 10, 2010.
Is canonical really essential?
Please let me know .
If you care about doing well in google organic with a site that has more than 20 pages it is absolutely necessary. Not using it is also a potential vulnerability where other people can link build to your pages using an alternative forms of the URL that still loads the same page content and convince Google that the page is widely duplicated on your site. Google picks which dupes go into the supplemental indexes and the one that stays in the primary index , if any, often isn't the one that rank bests. By using the canonical tag google knows if it has already indexed the page content under a different URL. This lets googlebot crawl large sites more efficiently and completely and it turns a dupe attack into a Page Rank booster.
Thanks for your comprehensive answer
So if I am using All in One SEO with Wordpress, I want to check to use canonical urls? And what about existing sites, by checking that will I have to have my sites completely relisted in Google?
I have to check because I may already manage this in my htaccess files...but your question and response made this a priority for me.
Thanks for your help.
If you agree that the url listed in the canonical tag when you view the page source is the most appropriate one for the content being displayed then you are fine. You want to make sure that all pages have a canonical tag. 301 redirects should protect you, but it depends how many of the URL variants are caught with your rules. Canonical tag is 100% effective and a great redundant backup when used with 301 redirects.
For existing sites just set the canonical url to be the url that currently ranks best in google and you'll be protecting that index entry.
Just thought I'd chime in.
We built TheDJHookup.com on Magento, which if you've had any experience is a duplicate content NIGHTMARE.
Canonical is a simple fix that pretty much every open source CMS supports, which I like to reinforce with 301 redirects, because I definitely find rel="Canonical" to be a much slower/less reliable method.
With that said, once we took care of all of that b.s., we started building links aggressively and now kick ass for most industry terms.
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