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How to Use the Canonical URL Tag to Avoid Duplicate Content
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How to Use the Canonical URL Tag to Avoid Duplicate Content

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Find out how to avoid your website getting caught in search engine duplicate content filters by adding this simple tag to your website - the new canonical URL tag now working in Google, Yahoo and MSN …

Find out how to avoid your website getting caught in search engine duplicate content filters by adding this simple tag to your website - the new canonical URL tag now working in Google, Yahoo and MSN Live

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  • 1. MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland Helen M. Overland MsSEM.com The Canonical URL Tag How to Use the Canonical Tag to Avoid Duplicate Content Filters in Google, Yahoo & Live
  • 2. The Canonical URL Tag
    • Contents
    • Who Am I?
    • What is Duplicate Content and Why is it a Problem?
    • What is the "Canonical" Tag?
    • What are the Limitations of the Canonical Tag?
    • How to Add the new Canonical Tag to Your Website
    • Further Coverage
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland
  • 3. The Canonical URL Tag Who Am I?
    • Director, Search Engine Marketing with non~linear creations – www.nonlinear.ca
    • Projects with large well-known brands
    • Proven Success: Demonstrated increases in sales and traffic year over year on large & small budgets
    • Over a decade of experience
    • Speaker at marketing conferences such as Search Engine Strategies, Search Marketing Expo, PodCamp Toronto
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland
  • 4. The Canonical URL Tag What is Duplicate Content and Why is it a Problem?
    • Search Engines visit your website and try to determine what pages you have
    • If two pages are very similar, one
    • of them might be flagged as
    • “ duplicate content ”
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland I love fresh , unique and quality content!
  • 5. The Canonical URL Tag What is Duplicate Content and Why is it a Problem?
    • To Search Engines, these may all be DIFFERENT pages:
    • http://www.example.com/
    • http://example.com
    • http://www.example.com/index.php
    • http://example.com/index.php?disp=home
    • ... Even though these URLs are all
    • just your single home page
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland Which One is Right???
  • 6. The Canonical URL Tag What is Duplicate Content and Why is it a Problem?
    • So the search engine "guesses" which is the "right" page
    • http://www.example.com/
    • http://example.com
    • http://www.example.com/index.php
    • http://example.com/index.php?disp=home
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland I pick... uh... THAT one!
  • 7. The Canonical URL Tag What is Duplicate Content and Why is it a Problem?
    • If the search engine only visits a few pages on your site, and most are duplicate URLs, some of your "real" pages might not get spidered
    • http://www.example.com/
    • http://example.com
    • http://www.example.com/index.php
    • http://example.com/index.php?disp=home
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland Whew... I'm done for the day here
  • 8. The Canonical URL Tag What is Duplicate Content and Why is it a Problem?
    • So we use 301 Redirects to control where people go
    • Redirect all people from:
    • http://www.example.com/
    • http://www.example.com/index.php
    • http://example.com/index.php?disp=home
    • To:
    • http://example.com
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland Ah ha! I See!
  • 9. The Canonical URL Tag What is Duplicate Content and Why is it a Problem?
    • But 301 redirects have limitations. What if you are a retailer who advertises through affiliate websites?
    • http://www.example.com/products/white-runner
    • http://www.example.com/products/white-runner?affiliate=123
    • Which link gets listed in search
    • results pages?
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland Now which one do I index?
  • 10. The Canonical URL Tag What is Duplicate Content and Why is it a Problem?
    • And it's hard to make 301 Redirects handle unforeseen circumstances
    • Consider the following somewhat unfortunate URL…
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland
  • 11. The Canonical URL Tag
    • Oh dear.
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland
  • 12. The Canonical URL Tag What is the "Canonical" Tag?
    • On many CMS systems and websites, people can add on whatever additions to the URL they like, and the page will still work.
    • If a URL returns a valid page, and is
    • linked to enough times, or is linked to
    • from a highly authoritative domain,
    • the URL may be indexed.
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland Hmm... that URL seems to be popular, I'll add it right now
  • 13. The Canonical URL Tag What is the "Canonical" Tag?
    • Google, Yahoo and Microsoft realized this was a problem for people.
    • So they created the new "Canonical“ tag
    • The "Canonical" tag is a way for you
    • to declare the "official" URL of the
    • page – no matter what's extra in the URL
    • The "Canonical" page is the “true“ URL of the
    • page
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland Here we come to save the day!
  • 14. The Canonical URL Tag What are the Limitations of the Canonical Tag?
    • Search engines seem to be getting smart to spam tactics before they launch new features
    • The canonical tag will only work on
    • your domain
    • The content of the canonical page
    • must be very similar to the page
    • that points to it
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland You can't fool me this time, spammers!
  • 15. The Canonical URL Tag How to Add the new Canonical Tag to Your Website
    • The canonical tag is a simple tag that is added to the <HEAD> area of your webpages
    • It looks like this:
    • <link rel=&quot;canonical&quot;
    • href=&quot;http://www.example.com/products/white-runner&quot; />
    • ..Just add the &quot;real&quot; URL to each page on your site by using this tag
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland
  • 16. The Canonical URL Tag How Does the Canonical Tag Help?
    • Search engines will now have a hint as to which is the &quot;real&quot; page
    • http://www.example.com/index.php
    • http://www.example.com/index.php?unfortunate=link
    • Which can help stop URLs you don't
    • want from being indexed
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland No, that's probably not right
  • 17. Thank You!
    • Helen M. Overland (a.k.a. semlady )
    • [email_address]
    • MsSEM.com
    • nonlinearcreations.com
    • Follow me! twitter.com/semlady
    • Get more information on the
    • Canonical Tag here:
    • mssem.com/library/url-canonical-tag.php
    MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland That's One Smart Lady!