The Link Canonical Tag: Good Guy or Bad Guy? by Adam Audette - SMX Advanced 2009
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The Link Canonical Tag: Good Guy or Bad Guy? by Adam Audette - SMX Advanced 2009

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Is the link canonical tag a good guy wearing a white hat, or a bad guy wearing a black hat? This presentation discusses usage of the link canonical, and includes plenty of Bonanza for good measure.

Is the link canonical tag a good guy wearing a white hat, or a bad guy wearing a black hat? This presentation discusses usage of the link canonical, and includes plenty of Bonanza for good measure.

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The Link Canonical Tag: Good Guy or Bad Guy? by Adam Audette - SMX Advanced 2009 The Link Canonical Tag: Good Guy or Bad Guy? by Adam Audette - SMX Advanced 2009 Presentation Transcript

  • The Link Canonical Tag Adam Audette SEO with Many Hats
  • There’s a new gun in town!
  • (Just don’t wear it like Joe)
  • I’m the SEO with many hats (and they’re all white)
  • Brief Background
    • 2 nd generation search marketer
          • John Audette, Outrider
    • President at AudetteMedia, Inc
        • Search Marketing Boutique
    • Oversee SEO at Zappos
        • With Zappos since 2001
    • Lead SEO Strategy for International Agency
        • Key partnership with AudetteMedia
  • “ That new link canonical guy looks cool!”
  • “ What’s the latest on Sphinn...?”
  • “ Just a sec, I gotta tweet that lunch we had....”
  • The Link Canonical Tag
    • It’s a tad confusing
    • For duplicate content, but...
    • ...can be used in other creative ways
    • It has potential to break your site
  • The Good
    • Darn easy to implement
    • Appears to work
    • Allegedly passes anchor text and PR
    • Useful for faceted / sorted URLs
    • Can be good for temporary fixes
  • The Bad
    • Like a ‘poor man’s’ 301
    • Powerful + New/Untested + Easy to implement = Potential for FAIL
    • Not a replacement for fundamental URL structure
    • Doesn’t actually solve duplicate content
    • May be better to redirect
  • Watch out for “Mr Bad Guy”
  • “ The name’s LC...”
  • “ Pa, LC’s got me all tied up!”
  • “ It says here comment tags work good for SEO!”
  • “ Aw crap, printing out twitter feeds just don’t work!!”
  • Ideas & Examples from the Field
    • ZFC URL handler
    • Does fancy stuff with URLs
    • But duplicate content will still happen
    • And doesn’t address certain scenarios
    • Possibly deploying link canonical:
        • Plurals
        • Faceted / sorted URLs
        • Sub-domains
    • Possible link canonical usage:
      • Artist pages (PageRank split)
      • Main Category Pages
      • Temporary solutions
  • 125 backlinks 120 backlinks
    • Possible deployment:
      • Sub-domains
        • reviews.motosport.com
        • answers.motosport.com
        • motocross.motosport.com
        • etc...
    • Google can use it:
    • http://directory.google.com/alpha/Top/Shopping/Clothing/Footwear/
    • http://directory.google.com/Top/Shopping/Clothing/Footwear/
    • http://www.google.com/alpha/Top/Shopping/Clothing/Footwear/
    • http://www.google.com/Top/Shopping/Clothing/Footwear/
  • What if…
    • What if a redesign was being deployed in ~6 months?
    • What if you needed some quick-wins?
    • What if URLs were going to change?
  • “ Try it... if ya got the guts!”
  • www.mydomain.com/catID/detail.asp?ID=42&nav=sidebar %22_ref www.mydomain.com/ride-bikes = 200 Link canonical target = www.mydomain.com/ride-bikes (sort of a 301) 200 404 301 302 The search result updates
  • www.mydomain.com/catID/detail.asp?ID=42&nav=sidebar %22_ref www.mydomain.com/ride-bikes = 404 Link canonical target = www.mydomain.com/ride-bikes (sort of a 301) 200 404 301 302 Probably a bad idea
  • www.mydomain.com/catID/detail.asp?ID=42&nav=sidebar %22_ref www.mydomain.com/ride-bikes = 301 Link canonical target = www.mydomain.com/ride-bikes (sort of a 301) 200 - finished 404 - bad idea 301 302 Canonical target 301 redirects back to parent URL Does this create a loop? www.mydomain.com/catID/detail.asp?ID=42&nav=sidebar %22_ref
  • www.mydomain.com/catID/detail.asp?ID=42&nav=sidebar %22_ref www.mydomain.com/ride-bikes = 302 Link canonical target = www.mydomain.com/ride-bikes (sort of a 301) 200 - best case 404 - bad idea 301 - loop? 302 Canonical target 302 redirects back to parent URL Search result should remain www.mydomain.com/catID/detail.asp?ID=42&nav=sidebar %22_ref
  • “ Rescue me from LC’s trap!”
  • “ Let’s redirect the old way from now on, Joe.”
  • Thank you! Adam Audette @audette www.audettemedia.com