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Typically, the crawl team wants to consider these things hints, and the vast majority of the time we'll take it on advisement and act on that. If you call it a directive, then you sort of feel an obligation to abide by that, but the crawling and indexing team wants to reserve the ultimate right to determine if the site owner is accidentally shooting themselves in the foot and not listen to the rel=canonical tag. The vast majority of the time, people should see the effects of the rel=canonical tag.
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:16 pm (utc) on Mar 21, 2010]
[edited by: tedster at 3:23 am (utc) on Mar 22, 2010]
[edit reason] no urls - please see Charter [/edit]