Canonical Link Element: Search Engines Working to Solve Duplicate Content Issues

Over the past 6 weeks the major search engines have announced support for a new Canonical Link Element – A piece of code you can insert into web pages that might be considered duplicate content. Within the piece of code you point the search engine towards the “preferred” URL for this content.

In a 5 minute video, Google’s Matt Cutts, talks about the Canonical Link Element. He discuses alternatives you should look at first to try to fix the underlying problem if you can. Matt then discuses this new element (Is it a Tag or an Attribute?) that “May” fix many duplicate issues including:

Links to both the and (no www.) versions of domains.

Issues often created by Content Management Systems such as multiple results listings that are very similar, multiple links to the same pages, etc

The use of Session ID’s that can create hundreds or even thousands of links to the same content.

Links to secure vs unsecure versions of pages.

Tracking parameters sometimes use to track which link to a page was clicked on.

Note – This is a new solution that is not fully implemented by the search engines yet. It will take some time to evolve.

Watch Matt Cutt’s Video on the Canonical Link Element


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