We talk about staging homes here on ActiveRain, a big part of home staging is de-cluttering. The good news Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are getting together for some spring cleaning and de-cluttering of the web.
"Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Collaborate to Clean Up Web" by reporter Miguel Helft in the Bits Column on the New York Times site quotes Matt Cutts:
"There is a lot of clutter on the Web and with this, publishers will be able to clean up a lot of junk,” said Matt Cutts, an engineer who heads Google’s spam fighting efforts. “I think it is going to gain traction pretty quickly.”
This is not about fighting malicious spam on the web though, it is about naturally occurring "duplicate content," non malicious duplication that the search engines sort through the best they can, now. They've just decided to collaborate and use a new tool to de-clutter the web. The Big Three (search engines that is...) are cooperating to sort through the kind of duplicate content that is not trying to game the search engines.
It's a new web standard. I first read about the collaboration on Search Engine Land in "Google, Yahoo & Microsoft Unite On “Canonical Tag” To Reduce Duplicate Content Clutter" yesterday. It is way over my head.
Each of the three big search engines announced their intent to combine to clean up the Web on their own site. The Google Webmaster Central Blog has their announcement "Specify your Canonical" using a Swedish Fish example.
The canonical url is the real thing. It's authoritative.
I think the explaination on the Microsoft blog is the easiest to understand:
"... Live Search has partnered with Google and Yahoo to support a new tag attribute that will help webmasters identify the single authoritative (or canonical) URL for a given page. The link tag defines a relationship between a document and an external resource. In this case, that resource is the canonical URL. The following is an example of the new link tag attribute for canonicalization:
<link rel="canonical" href="http://mysite.com"/> "
There's been worry about duplicate content on ActiveRain since the beginning. When Localism was first introduced "duplicate content" became a worry for some... Same content showing up under two diffferent URLs. Then ActiveRain introduced "Outside Blogs" or the "antiquated and hilariously dilapidated" Outside Blogs which have now been replaced with "Individual Blogs." Three urls same content. Then there's "re-blogging" which some members think is evil. Applicable?
Think of it from the point of view more of it being easier for you to find things via the Internet than something to put on your list to do... or even to understand.... Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are going to do all the heavy lifting, the people behind the scenes will work on the details for those of us who are clueless and confused.
The web will look better for the clean up.