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Canonical Issue


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11 replies to this topic

#1 logos1234

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 10:09 AM

Hi,

I have a site that has the following pages for the home page:

/pages/home.aspx
index.htm
also www vs non-www

index.htm was meta refreshing to /pages/home.aspx

My question is, what is the best way to 301 redirect. I was thinking that /pages/home.aspx and index.htm should both point to www.domain.co.uk/ Is this the best way to do it? /pages/home.aspx is the main page at the moment and has Pagerank, so perhaps it would be best to redirect to this page?

Many thanks

#2 logos1234

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 12:06 PM

Any thoughts anybody?

#3 Randy

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 12:16 PM

I don't do IIS logo21234. Others here do however.

#4 logos1234

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 04:54 AM

Thanks Randy


#5 JustinMarch

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 09:41 AM

Just a thought but wouldn't the new Canonical URL Tag do at least some of this work if placed within the home page i.e. <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.domain.co.uk/" />

Or am I being dumb... don't be rude anyone...

#6 logos1234

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 10:15 AM

QUOTE(JustinMarch @ Mar 23 2009, 02:41 PM) View Post
Just a thought but wouldn't the new Canonical URL Tag do at least some of this work if placed within the home page i.e. <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.domain.co.uk/" />

Or am I being dumb... don't be rude anyone...


Hi Justin,

Thanks, I have read about the canonical tag here, but from what I gather it may not be the most reliable method as various search engines may treat the tag differently (I think!), whereas a 301 redirect is a more solid and reliable solution.

Also, Im unsure of which URL to be canonical. For example if www.domain.co.uk has less authority/links than /pages/home.aspx should I then decide that the URL with the most authority is the canonical one, so /pages/home.aspx. As I understand it, a 301 redirect may or may not pass link juice with it, so I don't want to redirect from a higher authority URL to a lower one and risk losing the authority.

#7 JustinMarch

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:27 AM

QUOTE
Thanks, I have read about the canonical tag here, but from what I gather it may not be the most reliable method as various search engines may treat the tag differently (I think!), whereas a 301 redirect is a more solid and reliable solution.


That's not what I have heard see: www.seomoz.org/blog/canonical-url-tag-the-most-important-advancement-in-seo-practices-since-sitemaps ...which seems to say it's as strong as a 301.

QUOTE
Also, Im unsure of which URL to be canonical. For example if www.domain.co.uk has less authority/links than /pages/home.aspx


From what I understand it doesn't matter and you should choose the one that suits your site / site visitors best.

QUOTE
As I understand it, a 301 redirect may or may not pass link juice with it, so I don't want to redirect from a higher authority URL to a lower one and risk losing the authority.


I think you mean "canonical url tag" not "301 redirect" above??? If so it's my understanding that it will pass links, authority etc in the same way as a 301 (see link at top of post).

Only thing I would say is that the tag is very new.

Hope this helps?

Would be good to hear if anyone can clarify (or rubbish) any of my points.

Justin




#8 Randy

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:37 AM

QUOTE
Would be good to hear if anyone can clarify (or rubbish) any of my points.


I don't think anyone can do either at this point Justin. As you said, the rel="canonical" element is too new to have any firm judgments. And all of the search engine reps I've spoken to about it are still couching things in terms of "It should work..." answers.

I've got a couple of tests running to see if I can see something about it. I'm positive others are running tests too. But telling if it actually passes link popularity like a 301 is known to do can be a pretty tricky prospect. It's a question only the search engines can answer with any confidence. And they're either not talking or the folks I'm talking to about it aren't sure enough to give a solid answer, let alone go on the record about the details. Hopefully enough of us are running tests and those tests will return essentially the same results so that 6-8 months from now we'll all have a better idea of what to expect.

As things stand today, if there is no other option I'd definitely try rel="canonical". But by the same token I'm still using proper 301's where I need them because I want to make sure.

#9 JustinMarch

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:28 PM

Hmm... I was joking but having looked back that sentence seems almost hostile (must be the pressure), sorry all, and Randy in particular...

That sounds like good advice as ever Randy...

Look forward to hearing more after you have tested this...

Justin

#10 logos1234

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 01:01 PM

Thanks Randy,

I think I will stick to the 301s for now and see what happens in a few months. I would also be interested to find out about the results of your tests.

On reflection, I think I will keep /pages/home.aspx as the canonical as this makes sense with the rest of the URL structure of the site and from my research, this has the most authority amongst the various URLs for the home page. www.domain.co.uk 301 redirects to /pages/home.aspx and I don't want to upset the applecart as it were by reversing the redirects, although usually I would always resolve to www.domain.co.uk. www.domain.co.uk has several links pointing to it and I now assume that if any authority was passed it would have done by now. Or please correct me, should I reverse this and redirect all to www.domain.co.uk?

The only thing that I am concerned about is building links to the canonical: /pages/home.aspx I would prefer to build them to www.domain.co.uk in case in the future the site was reorganised. If I build links to www.domain.co.uk, I can't be sure that the 301 will pass the authority to the canonical. I wondered what anyone's thoughts on this are.

#11 Randy

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 08:42 PM

QUOTE
On reflection, I think I will keep /pages/home.aspx


Makes complete sense to me. I'd probably do it that way too given the facts you've laid out.

QUOTE
The only thing that I am concerned about is building links to the canonical: /pages/home.aspx I would prefer to build them to www.domain.co.uk in case in the future the site was reorganised. If I build links to www.domain.co.uk, I can't be sure that the 301 will pass the authority to the canonical. I wondered what anyone's thoughts on this are.


You're okay with this sort of approach. I've done it numerous times and the link pop does get passed through.

#12 logos1234

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 06:01 AM

Hi Randy,

Many thanks for all your help. I'm glad my thinking is right on some things... smile.gif

Thanks again




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