Skip to content
Dec 13 / bschwartz

Duplicate Content Follow Up

When it comes to syndication of content, how should you be giving credit where credit is due? A canonical link or a back link?

A canonical tag is a simple piece of HTML code that you insert into the section of a duplicate page, letting the search engines know that they are on a duplicate page and they need to find the original content elsewhere, and guide them there. Backlinks, also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links, are incoming links to a website or web page. (Daily SEO Blog).

In a post earlier this week, The Haunting Tales of Duplicate Content, canonical links were discussed – a lot. Author, Nick Teel, championed for the canonical link. And he’s not the only one who believes in the cross domain rel canonical tag when it comes to syndication.

If you want to gain a greater insight into the canonical tag and search engine results position, this response from SEOMoz’s Q&A Forum sums it up nicely. Here is an excerpt:

Given the choice, I would opt for the cross-domain rel canonical.  Matt Cuts has said that google prioritizes the original page in search results (link references rel canonical within domain, not cross-domain) and based on todays whiteboard friday and this video from matt cuts, I think rel canonical is the way things are moving, particularly for content syndication.

Edit: It also just occurred to me that there is no reason you can’t ask for both.  Rel canonical is helpful to GoogleBot determining who the original content creator is but offers absolutely nothing for the user.  It takes little more than the flick of a pen to require your syndication partners to include both rel canonical and a link back.