One of the biggest worries of a lot of webmasters is duplicate content issues. On-site duplicate content issues occur when there are two URLs on a site that show the same (or very similar) content. This always brings up a lot of questions for webmasters: How will the search engines know which page on my site is the “right” version; Will I get penalized for having two pages with the same content?
Today Google, Yahoo and Microsoft announced a solution to this problem: a new way to use the HTML link element. The link element is used to specify a relationship between two pages. It can be used to specify things like a stylesheet or rss feed for a page.
Now there is a new standard “canonical” value for the rel attribute of the tag. The HTML will look something like this:
<a rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.example.com/products/cameras”/>
Place this tag in the head section of the HTML of any of the pages that have duplicate content and your done.
For example, all of these following pages might have the same content:
If all three of these pages have the same content then the same canonical link tag should be on each of them.
This should be a good way to ease webmasters worry about duplicate content issues. You can get more information from Yahoo’s announcement,d Google’s announcement and Microsoft’s announcement.