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Promoting duplicate content pages that have rel=canonical

     
8:19 am on Apr 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Our client has the following issue:
Their company has a main site and it contains thousands of products page
This company also provide a white label platform which other webmasters use for building their own site on.

Problem: The same product pages appears on both the main site of the company and on all the white-label.

How could we solve this problem without hurting either the main site of the company or all white label sites?

We are considering using Canonical on the product pages. Will the white label sites be able do SEO for the product pages?

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 9:38 am (utc) on Apr 20, 2017]
[edit reason] Fixed copy and paste errors [/edit]

10:50 am on Apr 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As far as I know Canonical links are suppose to point to the original page on the same site (not a different site).

The sites may already be hurting each other because of duplicate content. The only way to truly fix the problem would be that everyone write their own product descriptions. I realize that is probably not feasible so I would at least make sure that the product descriptions are unique for the main site.
11:29 am on Apr 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Can't the same page be served at both locations instead of duplicating it?

5 common mistakes with rel=canonical [webmasters.googleblog.com]
12:24 pm on Apr 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As far as I know Canonical links are suppose to point to the original page on the same site (not a different site).

This is not the case. A canonical link can point to another domain see here:
[webmasters.googleblog.com...]

The first question one needs to ask is: Why create a new page if the content will be the same? What is the benefit? If a product changes or is discontinued, you will need to update multiple pages. This can be a challenge when you own the pages, it can be exponentially more challenging when you depend on others to update those pages for you.

The next thing one needs to consider, is more of a business decision than an SEO one. If one implements a canonical link then one instance of a page will be preferred over all the others. Who get's to host that one page? Who will receive the traffic for inquiries about the product? This is essentially a similar question to the sales channel / pricing question. Does one sell direct to the consumer? When one sells direct does one offer a discount? "Or" Does one sell through a retailer? Only a single retailer? If one sells direct or through multiple retailers, does one ensure that there is standard price?

With pricing, the consumer will go where the price is the lowest. With the canonical tags we are controlling the flow of information, the consumer will likely go were they can get the information the easiest (eg: easily found at the top of Google Ranking). So one needs to decide where one wants the consumer to go. Once one knows that, then a plan can be plotted out in terms of content management (link to original pages, create dupes with canonicals, hide (no-index) original pages and let retail show pages , etc...).
12:59 pm on Apr 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This is not the case. A canonical link can point to another domain see here:


Good to know!

Are the product pages really the same? In most cases an API drives these type of programs to deliver the product information which then the site owner injects into their own site pages (which has their own header, menu structure, footer, sidebars, etc) however they want (maybe multiple products on a page?). Some of these site owners probably already use canonical links. I still don't think the canonical link is the answer here.
8:37 am on Apr 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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By default, we block google from indexing all white labels (robots.txt) unless the owner customize it's white-label and add enough original content
(We control the back-end of all the white-labels)
Do you think that the canonical option is better?
In our case, What is the best way to implement the canonical tag