@Tedster, totally aware of this .... not the point I was making, google are messing around and changing the purposes of both these tags, why not adopt them as I suggested? Unless there is a reason not to spread the use of the original source tag (which at the moment is experimental) outside of google news? Why are they allowing new loop holes in the canonical tag to be exploited when they have a tag which is cross-domain in purpose already?
Assign a definitive 'purpose' for both and allow both to be in general use ...
The Original Source tag can be used between news publishers and their affiliate feeds as well as by general purpose webmasters using it to define the 'source point' of the page between their domains ... as the Canonical tag is now becoming (to its detriment). The Canonical tag should remain the stronger of the two, the original source tag the weaker of the two. One internal and one external ...
I would rather the Canonical Link Element be put back to only internal linking which would remove the main 'reason' for the hacker to alter it ... at worse google would just ignore the tag if it had been altered to point externally. It is far too useful in its original purpose to become diluted to almost nothing because of it being exploited.
I would also rather wait
for google to sort out any issues and put safe guards in place to the 'Original Source' tag before rolling it out for general use outside of google news. Why is there this sudden rush for the Canonical tag to be cross-domain and alter its basic premise, opening it up to hacking, which was a bleeding obvious next step, when they were working on a cross domain link tag already?
[edited by: JoePublisher at 3:25 pm (utc) on May 16, 2011]