Saturday, July 16, 2011

Understanding Canonicalization and its role in Seo

Though seo is content driven, it is useful to understand some technical tools and their uses in optimization especially in on page optimization.

Canonicalization deals with web content having multiple url issue. In search engine optimization an operator rel=”canonical”   is used to point out the real page and make other pages irrelevant. This normally happens with undefined www version and non www version of domain name causing lots of confusion.   

Example:

http://xyz.com
http://www.xyz.com
http://www.xyz.com/

The problem can also be caused if session ID is not blocked. This is called parameter handling. There is an option for this in webmaster tools use that. Best is to:

Set your preffered domain.

Specify canonical relationship :


This should be included in the section of the non camonical web page.

Preffered URLs can also be indicated to search engines using XML Site Map.

Specify Canonical in the http header.

Link: http://www.example.com/downloads/xyz.com; rel="canonical"

Adding 301 redirect is also a good idea to control the confusing factor and direct the search engine to the right page. Please do not remove the non www version using the removal tool  Check with your hosting service how this 301 can be set. In Apache .httaccess is used to execute this job for other servers check with the hosting service.