Canonical Linking - Are You Duplicating and Don't Even Know it?

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Services for Real Estate Pros with Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing
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confusedCanonical Linking - Are You Duplicating and Don't Even Know it?

Excuse me? What did you say? Cananawha? Canonical Linking has been around for a couple years when Matt Cutts first discussed it. But don't jump all over me just because I am bringing something up that's 2 years old. Just because it's been said before doesn't mean everyone knows about it. Ok, enough disclaimer there.

A canonical link is the main URL link address you want to use when you have other URLS that direct to the same page.

This can be as simple as:

http://www.personalseo.com
AND
http://personalseo.com

Both go to the same place but if you have linked them offsite using both versions of the URL, Google could possibly see them as two identical a.k.a. duplicate sites.

This is also the case if you have a variety of ways to get to the same page.

For example:

http://personalseo.com/testimonials/ 
AND
http://personalseo.com/marketing-services/testimonials.php

They may technically go to the same page, but if there are two different URL's that take you to the same place you MUST tell Google which one to pay attention to.

To humans we all know it to be one site. We see the same content so we assume it is the same. But to search engines they can see each of these and a variety of other url combinations as different sites. By addressing this from the beginning with your web host, SEO provider or webmaster this will solve the problem from the get go. If you are working with an older site that may be having this issue it could be why you are not being found as easily on the search engines.

By addressing the canonical linking issue in the code you tell Google, "look, there are a number of ways and URL's that go to this page but it's all the same page and here it is http:....................."

To do this you need to add the tag for the URL you want in the section of the duplicate content page code. The above URL would look like this:

For more permanent or completely different URL's a 301 Redirect is more appropriate.

To not have this be a problem in the future be sure to use the same URL EXACTLY everytime you link to your site. If you add a / where last time you didn't, it may be seen as two different pages to the search engines.

* This may be a bit confusing but it is something to be aware of. The biggest "take away" from this blog I want you to get is when you link to your site, make sure you are using the SAME URL everytime and you can avoid this issue. canonical linking

But when you have time, check through your website to make sure your links are all directed to the same page on the subject. Ask your webmaster if they use canonical linking and if your site is set up correctly. Much of Google now caches sites with recommended URL's. They follow where people go and typically have a good idea what pages are suppose to go together.  But you never know.

You don't want to penalize yourself for something you didn't even know you were doing.

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ActiveRain and SEOTammy Emineth is an expert in custom content and original articles for blogs, website, press releases and more. Contact me anytime and feel free to subscribe to this blog to stay up to date on my latest blogs and informative information. Email me or contact me for Real Estate Website Marketing and SEO Content Writing.

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The information contained in this blog is believed to be true and correct and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy for any particular purpose. All information is copy written and the property of Tammy Emineth.  

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Ambassador
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Good explanation of a problem that I see on many web sites.  Easily corrected with a simple redirect.

I've seen web sites that had 3-5 URLs.  Eeeekkk.

 

Jan 26, 2011 11:30 PM #1
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Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

That IS the best way to do it.  And to remember to use the same URL when linking as much as possible so not to confuse the SE.  I think it makes more sense in the second example when you have multiple ways to get to the same page and your domain redirects them all differently. Thanks for the comment Lenn!

~T

Jan 26, 2011 11:40 PM #2
Rainmaker
2,621,731
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Yes, I definitely have this issue.  I discovered it in July.  Unfortunately, I can not fix it; I'm dependent on my franchise to do it as I do not have full reign over the home page code and it sounds like this fix is not nearly as simple when it's a microsite and so they told me the fix is 1-1.5 ys off (which really irritates me). 

In the meantime, going forward (or all links since Aug) are correct and I was able to fix a whole bunch of them (but not all).  But, at least I know for now.

Jan 26, 2011 11:47 PM #3
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Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

Thanks for explaining this difficult subject into a simple explanation. I will look into my web sites over the next few days.

Jan 26, 2011 11:49 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,447,182
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Tivoli Custom Homes - Minot, ND
Bob Timm, Project Coordinator for Tivoli Homes

Tammy, good explanation but it still leaves me confused as to what the problem is in having such links. You said:

The biggest "take away" from this blog I want you to get is when you link to your site, make sure you are using the SAME URL every time and you can avoid this issue.

I read it over and over and I still do not see what the "issue" is. How does google penilize you for the duplicates? How do the duplicates hurt you?

Again I understand that you do not want them but why do we not want them?

Jan 27, 2011 12:40 AM #5
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Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Thanks for coming by Debbie. I knew you would get this.. It is a confusing thing, I know. IF you can start now at least from now on the links will be correct. And thanks for stopping by my outside blog as well.

Harry - thank you for the comment. I hope it was clear :)

Bob - The reason you don't want Google to see two URL's with the exact same content is because Google MAY not associate the two pages as the same but may actually see them as two separate sites. This tells Google that this content on the page is not fresh, original or custom. They see it possibly as someone that copied and pasted from somewhere else. They are getting better at  realizing - DUH! This is the SAME PAGE! But not every time. You want to make sure you group together any and all URL's that could possibly go to the same page so Google only sees it all as one page with original content on it. 

Google loves originality, and actual human beings writing content. The build their bots on this so when it finds two pages that seem similar but have different URL's its like telling them you just plagiarized something from over here. Many times though, Google will see when the page was constructed and if all the corresponding URL's were created at the same time, it may just assume that it's really one page.

Does that make sense?

~T

Jan 27, 2011 12:49 AM #6
Rainmaker
569,995
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

Lucky me - I always use the same URL as I am a creature of habit!  I like it when I find out I was doing the right thing & didn't even know it! LOL!

Jan 27, 2011 12:52 AM #7
Rainmaker
531,301
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

Good Morning Tammy,

Thank you for posting this information. I'm planning to have a new website custom made so I will use this info to make sure this doesn't occur ~

Jan 27, 2011 01:51 AM #8
Rainer
87,822
Tara Cummins
Stratagy4SuccessNow - Mesa, AZ
Marketing Concierge, Strategy4SuccessNow

Okay, my head is swimming a little bit!  But at least I did understand the concept of doing our best to point everything back to one URL when more than one might be available for the same page.  Beyond that....I'm bookmarking and coming back!  Glad to have it on my radar though.  :-)

Jan 27, 2011 10:16 AM #9
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Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

I know.. it's tough for me even to wrap my head around sometimes, Tara. But like you said, as long as you only do it from now on as one URL... seriously though, even these URLs can register different!

www.example.com

example.com

www.example.com/

example.com/

www.example.com/index.html

example.com/index.html

www.example.com/home.aspx

example.com/home.aspx

Crazy I know... so the best way I avoid this is to TYPE every url I link to instead of any copy and paste short cuts. then you KNOW what you are using for sure.

Thanks Frank and Karen and of course Christine for coming by!! :)

~T

Jan 27, 2011 11:43 AM #10
Rainer
140,464
Maureen Fukumoto
Help-U-Sell Realty Pro - Mililani, HI
Maureen

Interesting, I do have several URLs so I'm going to have to look into this more. Thanks for the info.

Jan 27, 2011 08:57 PM #11
Rainmaker
703,682
Erika Rogers
Red Rock Real Estate ~ Southern Utah's Largest Independent Brokerage - Saint George, UT
St George Utah Real Estate & Relocation Specialist

Okay, I'm a little confused. I'm bookmarking so I can come back and go over this thoroughly. Thanks

Jan 28, 2011 03:53 AM #12
Rainmaker
642,506
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Tammy ~ you are my guru when it comes to SEOs,  Everytime I read one of your posts I learn something new.

Jan 28, 2011 10:29 AM #14
Ambassador
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Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Maureen, It's definitely worth checking out when you have the time, you don't want to be harming your site if you don't have to. Thanks for the comment

~T

Jan 28, 2011 03:03 PM #15
Ambassador
583,299
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Erika, it can be kind of confusing. As long as every time you link, you use the exact same wording... not www. one time and no www the next you should be fine. But make sure you don't have multiple pages going to the same place with different URL's

~T

Jan 28, 2011 03:04 PM #16
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Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Dawn, Ahh thanks! :) I so appreciate you stopping by as you know!!

~T

Jan 28, 2011 03:05 PM #17
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Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty - Albuquerque, NM
eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque

"This may be a bit confusing but it is something to be aware of. The biggest "take away" from this blog I want you to get is when you link to your site, make sure you are using the SAME URL everytime and you can avoid this issue."

If I'm understanding this correctly you mean the same URL for each page of your site. You want to be linking to every page on your site, not just the home page right?

Jan 29, 2011 01:29 PM #18
Rainer
117,810
Beverly Femia
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Hampstead, NC
Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are

Just fascinating information that could make all the difference in the value of all the work!

Oct 20, 2011 06:23 AM #19
Rainmaker
256,890
Vanessa Saunders
Global Property Systems Real Estate - White Plains, NY
From Manhattan to the Catskills of New York

Tammy I just sent you a personal note. Merry Christmas and I look forward to speaking to you soon. V

Dec 17, 2011 12:54 AM #20
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