Should I Always Use a Canonical Meta Element ?

  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

A look back here we see that Google added support for a canonical meta element. Looking back at the Google blog post linked to by that thread we can see what the canonical is for.

Fast forward to today.

I've been using the element in a few special situations since it came out. Probably the most useful use was switching from index.php to index.html (I don't care what anyone says, I don't like filename-less URLs) and being able to keep both addresses active and forget about a bunch of redirects from external sources.

I'm finding that as time goes by I've started wanting to add tracking variables to some of my *.html urls. For instance, I want to add "?rss" to *.html links contained in RSS feeds. Without a canonical, I'd have to redirect these special-case visitors to the variable-less address, which since I use Google Analytics, would probably defeat the purpose of the addition in the first place.

So, for the time being, I've decided to add a canonical meta element to anything and everything I can generate one for on the fly. I really don't see a reason why I shouldn't. From my experience so far, it can only help me to do this.

Anyone else been using this element, anything you want to point out ?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • iliya428
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yes, we were waiting for 'canonical' element for a long time. We use it to crop the backlinks from affiliates, so Google will recognize them to be the same as the main website page.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

That is another good use. It never donned on me before that having 5000 affiliate links pointing to the same page with different ids could be really tough to deal with as far as indexing is concerned.
  • stephen186
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Post 3+ Months Ago

if i have two pages with almost similar content......can i use this canonical element there..
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

stephen186 wrote:
if i have two pages with almost similar content......can i use this canonical element there..


I wouldn't, it's two pages. Canonical elements are designed for one page.

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