Should large corporations use rel=canonical?
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Should large corporations use rel=canonical?

>>CUTTS: All right, Terry Cox, from Orlando
Florida asks, “In regards to the new canonicalization tag, does it make sense for large corporations
to consider placing that tag on every page due to marketing tracking codes and large
levels of duplicate URLs like faceted pages and load balancing servers?” So, this is a
great question, should you put the canonical tag on every single page? Well, there’s a
short term answer and a long term answer. The short term answer is I would probably
say, not right now. Take a little bit of time, study your site architecture; think about
URL and normalization, beautification, whatever you want to call it. Think about the structure
of URLs that you want to have and take, you know, a few weeks, or even a few months, a
couple of months to sort of assess where you want to go. I don’t think you should just
throw the canonical tag on every single page on your site immediately and just start wringing,
you know, moving around, because it is a powerful tool and people do have the ability to sort
of shoot themselves in the foot. So, on the plus side, we’ve seen a quarter of a million
pages show up within just a few days. Where people are using this canonicalization tag,
which is fantastic. It’s good to see the traction and the adoption move very quickly. On the
downside, we have seen one company, a very large company, a computer company, I won’t
call them out by name, where they had a Homepage and their Homepage was doing a redirect and
they also have the canonical tag and the canonical tag pointed to a page that we hadn’t crawled
at all. And so, you know, those sorts of cases can be very difficult to try to do the right
thing and we do the right thing. But, you know, it can take us a couple of days to sort
of sort it out, or go and find that URL and crawl it. So, I wouldn’t just jump in the
deep end of the pool without doing some planning. The longer term answer is, it doesn’t hurt
to have this on every single page of your site. Ideally, you’d find other ways to solve
the canonicalization but, it doesn’t hurt to sort of say on every single page, this
page maps to this canonicalized, very pretty, very preferred version of this URL. But what
you want to do is, you want to make sure that it’s absolute URLs; ideally it goes in one
hop. It’s a logical system that you designed; you haven’t just jumped in and started to
play around with. I don’t see any harm in having that sort of thing, because we’ll just
follow those, what we almost think of is mini 301 redirects within that site and we’ll try
to canonicalize according to those suggestions. We don’t guarantee that we’ll do it, but it
should work just fine with no problems. So, feel free to do that, but, you know, take
some time, and plan it out a little bit.

4 thoughts on “Should large corporations use rel=canonical?

  1. Say the old page has better SEO and seach result is #1.. if another page is the canonical now.. does that old page position in the search result disappear?

  2. In the end, it really is all about quality and user experience. Before you decide whether to use or not to use the rel=canonical, you first need to consider what your visitors need and from there, plan things out based on what the visitor's needs and wants are.

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