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    To rel=canon or to not rel=canon?? That is my question...


    Ladies & Gents...

    About to launch my Aussie based ecomm store. Have been on a steep learning curve with far too many hats on for one person, so some clarification on these points would be great!!

    My questions of the day are regarding Rel=canonical tags for my product pages.

    I have a unique URL/page for all product variants. Some items have 2-6 colours or 1 or 2 sizes.

    Although the URL and Page titles are obviously slightly different for each page,(reflecting the colour/size variation) the product descriptions are pretty much the same. (All original and unique to my site, not Manufacture descrips)

    Please have a look at the site setup to see what you think: ipsomofo.com.au


    • Should I Rel=canon these variants to ONE of each product type?
    • Will these product pages be considered 'duplicate content'?
    • Is this possibly why Google has only indexed 2/3 of my pages?
    • How will adding or leaving off the Rel=canon affect my seo efforts?


    Any advice or if you could share your experiences with similar set-ups, that would be great!

    Cheers
    Last edited by Noeski; Apr 6th, 2015 at 06:52 PM.
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    Yes it is considered duplicate content. There are two ways you may want to handle this:

    1. Use dynamic URLs. You would have one URL (ex. /shop/furnishings/marco-bar-stool) that would list all variants, then use different parameters based on the color selected

    /shop/furnishings/marco-bar-stool?q=turquoise
    /shop/furnishings/marco-bar-stool?q=red
    /shop/furnishings/marco-bar-stool?q=black

    THEN use rel=canonical on the dynamic pages, defining /shop/furnishings/marco-bar-stool as the canonical version

    2. Write unique content for each of these pages

    By the way, I really like the brand voice on your website.

    Comments on this post

    • Will-O-The-Wisp agrees : Thanks, Adam!
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    Duplicate will resolve itself thus it is best to not use the canonical meta tag and here is why.

    If someone, anyone links to a canonical attributed page that link (those links) will be completely worthless since you are advising Google to ignore this specific page (these pages).
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    Thanks again Adam. Lots of advice out there regarding having your products on different URLS due to cross categorising and having various incoming links, but none specific to product variants with differing Titles. I'll look into the Dynamic URL solution for sure. (just wish my dev team were a bit more clued up to these scenarios during the build)

    Ok, so Fathom, are you saying that even the dynamic URL solution offered above is possibly not the best way to go about this scenario due to losing the Back Link credit if any of these URL's are linked through another site?

    Option 2, offered by Adam, would be a pain in the *** especially as the content takes so long to put together and as my site grows so would the workload. Not feasible for an expanding ecomm site.
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    Originally Posted by Noeski
    Ok, so Fathom, are you saying that even the dynamic URL solution offered above is possibly not the best way to go about this scenario due to losing the Back Link credit if any of these URL's are linked through another site
    If you know what page everyone will link to - that is the page that does not have the canonical tag... however if you cannot control which page that is (that gets the links) you do not want to define any page as a canonical.
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    Originally Posted by fathom
    If you know what page everyone will link to - that is the page that does not have the canonical tag... however if you cannot control which page that is (that gets the links) you do not want to define any page as a canonical.
    Ok, makes sense... It up to the gods obviously, as to who shares/links to what...

    So are there any other work arounds that you would recommend that don't involve completely unique content on each and every product variant page?

    Once again appreciate any wisdom and experiences on this subject...
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  13. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by Noeski
    Ok, makes sense... It up to the gods obviously, as to who shares/links to what...

    So are there any other work arounds that you would recommend that don't involve completely unique content on each and every product variant page?

    Once again appreciate any wisdom and experiences on this subject...
    A note: a "share" isn't really a link but obviously if you mean "someone is sharing by way of a link that is a different matter.

    The latter point "time" and "paying attention" are the workarounds... With the first link comes the preferred selection process. Google will naturally take the best match to its algorithm and while there are over two hundred quality signals the ones about links matter the most to Google unless you fake these.

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