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Canonical And Hreflang Tags Correct Setup Advice


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#1 alexmav

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 12:08 PM

Hi all, we have a UK and USA site ecommerse and the uk is housed on a subdomain extention, i was hoping someone could verify is this is correct.

 

On a USA page have

<link rel="alternate" href=my usa url  "hreflang="en-us" />    (Same as canonical)
<link rel="alternate" href=my uk url " hreflang="en-gb" />

And also   <link rel="canonical" href=my us url " /> (to specifcy that this url on the usa site is the most important on the usa url)

 

On the UK page have

 

<link rel="alternate" href=my uk url " hreflang="en-gb" />       (Same as canonical)
<link rel="alternate" href=my usa url  "hreflang="en-us" />


And also   <link rel="canonical" href=my uk url " /> (to specifcy that this url on the uk site is the most important on the uk url)

 

At present we have same content on both UK subdomain and USA.com, I have geotargeting in WM and also the servers are located in the UK for the UK, and USA server for USA .com.

 

Hoping someone can advice me on whether it is correct.

 

Thanks

 

Alex



#2 qwerty

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:26 AM

If the pages are identical (or even significantly close to identical), they shouldn't both declare themselves as canonical. The whole idea behind rel-canonical is to send a signal that you know that two or more pages are very similar to each other, and you want to indicate which one should count.

 

Hreflang, on the other hand, is a way of telling a search engine that you know that two or more pages are very similar to each other, but that the pages exist in order to serve different audiences.

 

So in a case like this, you don't really need both. You have two pages that are very similar (in fact, identical, but you say that's only temporary), and your intention is for one page to be found by people in the UK and the other by people in the US. As such, you don't want either to be treated as canonical. The two tags can be used in tandem, but when they are, you need to be careful about it.

 

Have a look at John Mueller's comment in this thread.

We've dropped the mention of the rel=canonical in the help center since we've found that it tends to confuse people and with that, they may end up implementing it incorrectly.

If the URLs are really fully equivalent, then using a rel=canonical like that is fine (eg if you have an informational page on a site, which doesn't mention local currencies or local addresses). On the other hand, if the pages are not fully equivalent (eg different titles, currencies, addresses, etc), then I would not use a rel=canonical. The difference is very subtle and because of that, hard to implement at scale.





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