Google Clarifies Cross-Domain Canonical Link Element Support
Google recently released updates regarding cross-domain canonical link elements, which caused confusion about their support for it. However, the search engine giant quickly clarified its position by providing guidance on how to use rel=”canonical” while noting where it’s not recommended.
There are two changes worth taking note of regarding Google’s guidance on duplicate content. First, Google provided clearer guidance to news publishers who syndicate content in Google News. The guidance advises publishers not to use the canonical link element to avoid duplication from syndication partners. Syndicated articles often differ significantly in overall content from the original articles. Instead, partners should use meta tags to prevent indexing.
Second, Google also updated its guidance on content that must be blocked from Google News. The new guidance advises republishers to consider proactively blocking content from wire services or public domain sources. Additionally, Google removed its previous suggestion to consider using a canonical link element.
While this update may seem drastically different, Google maintains support for the canonical link element. It was designed primarily for use within a site to self-identify what should be considered the canonical version when near-duplicates or duplicates exist. However, it’s not recommended for publishers who want to avoid duplication from syndicating content as the pages often differ significantly.
In conclusion, while it’s essential to note these changes, it’s equally important to recognize that the pages are considered guidance and not a policy statement. Google’s guidance uses the term “consider,” which differs from “must” and leaves room for publishers to make product decisions that best suit their intended outcome.
If you’re a publisher struggling with canonical link elements or optimizing your SEO practices in general, consider SEO Augusta. As SEO experts, our experienced team provides industry-leading SEO solutions to help your website rank higher on search engines. Connect with us today to learn more.