Alternatives to rel="canonical"

Don't use rel="canonical" as a bandaid solution

There has been some recent discussion in the SEO community about whether Google and Bing have different rules for the use of the rel=”canonical” tag. Google has said it is fine to have self-referential canonical tags (ie. the rel=”canonical” tag specifies the same URL as the page you are on), whereas Bing indicates they’d prefer the canonical tag be left blank in that case.

The proper use of rel=”canonical” can be confusing at best, and can produce devastating results at worst. So what is an SEO to do?

First of all, realize that using rel=”canonical” isn’t necessary in many cases of duplicate content. The canonical tag is a great tool for extreme situations and enterprise-level sites, but on small to medium sized websites there are often other solutions.
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Canonical Tag is Useless

The canonical tag is simply a way to silence webmasters.Webmasters and Duplicate Content

Yesterday at SMX West it was announced that Google, Yahoo! and Live have agreed upon a method to help webmasters define original content within a site. The canonical tag is a meta tag used to tell search engines which page to list in SERPs when multiple listings of the same, or very similar content exist in their databases.

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