Google releases the "canonical" tag
Friday, 13 February 2009
Google releases the "canonical" tag. http://searchengineland.com/canonical-tag-16537
The tag behaves like an intrasite 301 redirect at crawler level but allows the page to behave as a normal 200 when users interact with it, and is implemented as:
<link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/target-url-within-example.com">
I was debating this with Matt Cutts at the Web 2.0 Summit in SF after his preventing virtual blight presentation, (guess I can say this now the tag is public information :-) ) and think it's a good idea that could be taken even further. Per page conanical redirects are cool, but my thoughts are that enterprise SEO & IT teams would have more control if we could simply drop in REGEX and Redirect commands for crawler control into the robots.txt file in a similar way we might do in a .htaccess file, as this would be much easier to implement and would centralise control rather than having to output the conanical target on a page by page basis.
Nice start though.