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Canonical Tags - beneficial for different 'sort' urls?
skuba




msg:3894079
 9:14 pm on Apr 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi Guys,
I am trying to understand if canonical tags would really help our SEO efforts.

I am looking at adding canonical tags to an ecommerce site with thousands of products.

Here is how I intend to use the CT

these 3 pages would have the same tag
<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/product-category/index.htm"/>

one page is the original one
http://www.example.com/category/index.htm

than there is the same page sorted by price
http://www.example.com/category/sort/price/page/1/index.htm

and now the same but on page 2 of results
http://www.example.com/category/sort/price/page/2/index.htm

Would it really help to use the canonical tags and make all these pages the same canonically-wise?

They are not exactly the same, the sorting might make them show different results. And page 1 doesn't have the same results as page 2.

What do you guys suggest?

Thanks so much

 

rainborick




msg:3894150
 10:51 pm on Apr 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is actually one of the situations where Google says the rel="canonical" tag would be appropriate, but the effects on your rankings are difficult to predict. If the number of products requires more than one page to display them all, then you would essentially be removing all of the secondary pages from the index unless you take additional steps. That is, I'd suggest that you find a way to allow the search engines one path to follow to a complete listing of your product pages - either unsorted or sorted - by adjusting the rel="canonical" href value in your software.

skuba




msg:3894158
 11:02 pm on Apr 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

"That is, I'd suggest that you find a way to allow the search engines one path to follow to a complete listing of your product pages - either unsorted or sorted - by adjusting the rel="canonical" href value in your software. "

hmm, interesting idea. The problem is that the will be some product classes with over 200 items. I would prefer not to send users such a page.

rainborick




msg:3894161
 11:08 pm on Apr 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't mean you should have all products on a single page. I mean adjust the value of the rel="canonical" so that the search engines only see one path of URLs for all of the pages required to display all of the products in each category - either sorted or unsorted. If you use the same value for the href in the rel="canonical", the search engines will never index any of the secondary pages. So you need to pick one "canonical" path through all of them and adjust the tag to reflect that.

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