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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
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
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
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!
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???
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!
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
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!
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?
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
The Canonical URL Tag Oh dear. MsSEM.com Helen M. Overland
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
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!
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!
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
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
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!

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How to Use the Canonical URL Tag to Avoid Duplicate Content

  • 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 &quot;Canonical&quot; 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 &quot;guesses&quot; which is the &quot;right&quot; 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 &quot;real&quot; 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 &quot;Canonical&quot; 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 &quot;Canonical&quot; Tag? Google, Yahoo and Microsoft realized this was a problem for people. So they created the new &quot;Canonical“ tag The &quot;Canonical&quot; tag is a way for you to declare the &quot;official&quot; URL of the page – no matter what's extra in the URL The &quot;Canonical&quot; 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!