Canonicalization: SEO Mythbusting


i think that a great deal of beings read canonicalization as kind of thematic formation which kind of isn’t right at all they need to the pages need to be either indistinguishable or near near indistinguishable precisely yeah that’s what it evaporates down to canonicalization is about duplication conduct so basically you want to remove duplications so that we don’t have to creep things multiple times and we don’t have to like interpret and indicator things multiple times and we also is not suffice them all the time like the same things basically in three different urls that’s not good search results really right[ Music] hello everybody and welcome to another chapter of seo mythbusting with me today is rachel costello you are deep crawl technical seo and material manager so what is it that you’re doing every day so i mostly well i used to be a technical seo myself and now i’ve moved into more of the content production side of things so writing white papers articles to instruct the wider dev society digital sell parish about technological seo and the impact it has awesome that’s really interesting so you’re seeing like a assortment of delusions and confusions and trash and we picked an interesting topic didn’t we we didn’t what’s the topic that you want to talk about today it’s all about canonicalization all right so what are like the top illusions and errors that the community is dealing with so i think the first thing is that parties think it is a directive you defined a canonical tag it’s going to be accepted um another one yeah accurately another one is that they kind of use it like a redirect so if you have a product page that get out of stock you included a canonical back to the category page which doesn’t really manipulate that highway because i’ve heard that the content needs to ideally be identical if not very similar so lots of things like that oh interesting all right let’s let’s start with the uh project that it is a directive because it’s not nope nope uh it is a signal for us right so when we speak about canonicalization we’re talking about spotting content or the same content or very similar content that is available under different address and the different urls right so we can do many different things to mostly identify these things right we can uh time move several pages and watch like oh this is actually the same content we are going to be able probably see if the same relations and like the same kind of context is used but also we can use the canonical tag freedom it’s a signal we’re apply many different signals to figure out if something is the same content or not and canonicalization with a canonical tag is just one of them so putting a canonical tag on sheets that are not the same is not going to work putting a canonical tag on each of the pages that are exactly the same is also not going to work it is a signal it helps us identify what we want to canonicalize but it doesn’t say like you have to use this that’s that’s a big one i think and you’re right and you should not use it as a redirection either it’s not a redirect i think people exactly want to group link equity wherever they can and it’s maybe a bit of a hopeless act to try and keep all of their connection equity in one place it is it is again like canonicalization concludes appreciation if you bridge upright the same content on different i don’t know pulpits or different channels in slightly different locations for whatever reason you’re doing that that’s where canonicalization comes in but if you are having something that leads out of stock you should either redirect it to something similar that represents ability for the user at that point or you can just tell us this is a 404 for the moment and might come back but do not just think that like you can no it’s not the same as a redirection also you’re wasting creeping budget that way because we’re just not understanding like oh so you’re saying this is the same as the other page but it clearly is not so we’re just gonna continue doing this but if you have two sheets that are identical and you’re not canonicalization you’re not canonicalizing them the way that it realizes appreciation then we kind of have to look into both as well and sometimes you get these like flipping canonicals yeah what are the normal troubles that you’re seeing that people are having besides these fallacies like exactly what we parties doing with them you think draws no impression so i think parties are just not quite sure we’ve been trying to piece together um what these different signals are that play into influences you’ve got redirects site maps backlinks and things like that i think parties are trying to weigh up how many of these signals they should compute perhaps they’re kind of make it like a maths equation like if i do these two things then this will mean that google selects my canonical call that i miss um but it would just be interesting i’m always interested to know more about how the signals are weighted which ones are more preferential to others because sometimes i see that maybe this is just my hypothesi that maybe google introduces more weighting to signals that are more likely to have been implemented by a human rather than maybe an auto-generated setting i don’t know if that has only one well um duplication and deduplication is actually done without much human interaction so this is all automated signals um but we do like content fingerprinting uh we look at things like what is what is the the gist of it actually what are the there was the information here how does this relate to the site structure what does it say in the locate map um so we’re looking at a bunch of different factors but they’re largely technical causes okay yeah and we are basically scoring them on an ongoing basis so it’s not that we’re like choose it once and then exactly stick with it we are always looking at the fresh content that we got from crawl and then have a look at like does this this change if it reformed is it now very close to what it has been before now maybe something that is has been in duplication is no longer a duplication because it has changed its content so that’s absolutely possible freedom but sometimes specially when pretty much everything is showing up in the same url structure and it’s maybe like different language versions of the same thing but it is the same content then we might end up with a scoring that is very similar so we have both explanations and let’s say like one is 0.49 and one is 0.51 of what we think is a duplication of the other then it’s really hard to select which one will be the canonical and that can change right a change in i don’t know how we crawl things or how the how the the crawler has retrieved data and and and how it has been delivering the other pages beforehand might affect us to have like a insignificant little bit of a jump in these two counts and then the other one is the canonical so make sure that you’re trying to give us as clear a signal as possible and not confuse the the algorithms uh that are working with figuring out which one is the duplication of which other thing because if we’re having two um two equal cases of the information contained then how is well known which one we should pick precisely and you don’t want google to be in that place where they feel like they have to pick for you or google what may seem like it has to pick for you and it moves everything more complicated on your area as well peculiarly if you’re using things like rummage console right we are we’re gathering data and picturing you data based on the canonical so if it starts flapping between two urls then that’s going to look really weird so anything else that you would say is unclear about it or is there something that does your life really hard when it comes to canonicalization i think it’s figuring out the certain thresholds you need to get to override google’s decision on what is the preferred url because we can align all of our signals on site but “ive ever seen” that john mueller on the query google webmaster video about canonicalization he said that there’s two characteristics you’ve got um kind of the on-site signals but you’ve also got what you uh what google thinks that the user would most like to have a look at that is true yeah and that depends on a assortment of different things so for instance um we might canonicalize one conversation edition over the other if if you were telling us that all of them are canonical at the same time and they have pretty much the same content peculiarly if it’s in the same language just for different countries um then we might show the version to the searcher that the searcher is in the country off so if we have a de copy and an at version so the german version and the an austrian version that are pretty much the same they use the same currency they might have even the same price if you’re unhappy we might show different urls to examinations depending on where they come from right it obligates more feel for a patron in uh austria to see the austrian copy of the website rather than the german one even if they are the german one is the canonical so that might be a little confusing and misleading any other questions from your area yes so there was one question i had in that so if you if google accepts the canonical tag on a page that it will ignore any unique content on that page but then that’s interesting because surely the sheets have to be identical in the first place this is something i’ve heard that if there’s any unique content on the canonicalized page it’ll be ignored so how would that work would the canonical tag not be accepted then because they’re slightly different pages so that depends on how different the unique content is if you have mostly the same content and then maybe have like one sentence that is slightly different then we might still think that it’s pretty much the same thing and then we would not realize the unique content consequently if we think that it’s just a transcript of another sheet that is canonical if this page has the canonical then we will probably see the the unique content there as well because it’s the page that we picked nonetheless if the content is completely different or different enough for the algorithms to decide that this is not a duplication then the canonical is pointless unless there’s another page that happens or another url that happens to point to the exact same page then it becomes interesting again because then we have two different needles do the same thing and we we get that are frequently hours that uh people are like relation two sheets and accidentally have like some i don’t know some url constant that mostly goes ignored uh or doesn’t actually matter or there’s like a somewhat change in the in the way that the url looks like um maybe “youve had” like a reduce d e something something and then like a gash to e uh something something question mark cash equals false or something like that that doesn’t really matter then we might canonicalize to one of these pages and probably the one that does not have parameters and substance but that also is debatable it might also happen that we kind of neglect something with constants but that practice you’re again stimulating it harder for us to pick the a canonical because if you’re not saying like oh this is specifically the canonical we want and it’s back to guesswork and i think that’s their own problems parties are just trying to group sheets topically maybe with canonicalization but that’s not how it not how it drives no thank you for confirming that canonical calls and canonicalization is about reducing duplication yes that’s what it is for precisely magnificent rachel thank you so much for being now and talking a little about canonicalization with me and i think that was useful and “i m hoping you” enjoyed it have a good time bye bye hey everyone i hope you liked the previous incident next chapter me and glenn are gonna discuss site moves right site moves domain name conversions url migrations and more so stay sung and check it out

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