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Understanding the canonical tag for rich snippets

     
11:44 pm on Mar 11, 2011 (gmt 0)



I am finally getting around to starting work on the rich snippets for shopping sites Google released late last year.

Google blog post on it here
[googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com ]

They can be controlled via feed and via hard coding. I would really like to control them via feed as I already have a product feed going out, but that requires me to add the canonical tag to every product page to do this. Since I have seen many canonical problems people have inflicted on themselves I was wondering if you guys could make sure my reasoning is correct.

Example

widgets.com/blue.html

There is no duplicate for this page but since canonical is required for rich snippets I would simply add it in the <head> as <link rel="canonical" href="widgets.com/blue.html"/> and have it simply reference itself? Then I could roll this out to all product pages with each page referencing itself in the canonical and that would be sufficient?

Is this the correct way to do this in order to get rich snippets or could this potential hurt my site.

Thanks for the info
1:26 am on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I would use a fully qualified URL in the canonical link - href="http://widgets.com/blue.html". Then it will hold for any kind pf canonical issues that might come up, for example:

http://www.widgets.com/blue.html
https://widgets.com/blue.html
http://widgets.com/blue.html?ref=spammer.com
http://widgets.com//blue.html

But yes, to answer the core question, a URL can definitely be its own canonical URL.
6:35 am on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)



Googlebot can access multiple (not as simple) URLs. Even if the key information on these URLs is the same as your preferred version, they may show slight content variations due to things like sort parameters or category navigation. So Google can have some problem with same type of url to avoid this we use this tag

<link rel="canonical" href="Link" />
8:34 am on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Welcome to WebmasterWorld!

That's actually a relative link to the page Link from the current location, so if you're at example.com you're saying the canonical page is example.com/Link and if you're at example.com/some-directory/ you're saying the canonical page is example.com/some-directory/Link ... I really don't get the point?

IMO Better to leave it off unless that's the actual canonical URL ... There have been reports of things getting REALLY messed up from canonical tag errors and the situation taking excessive amounts of time to get corrected in Google's indexing.

What am I missing or not understanding about your post?
4:21 pm on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)



@themadscientist, thank you for the information. If canonical is required on all pages like the link from the google post says above how would you implement it in my example, since it is required i cannot not add it.

Thanks for all your help!
 

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