In the ever-evolving world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google’s recommendations serve as a compass for digital marketers and webmasters. Recently, Google made a significant shift in its stance on the use of canonical tags for syndicated content. This article delves into this change, its implications, and the best practices moving forward.
Google’s New Recommendation
Google recently updated its advice on the use of canonical tags for syndicated content. In a surprising turn of events, Google now advises against using the canonical link element for such content. Instead, it recommends blocking the syndicated content from being accessed to avoid duplication. This new piece of information was posted in Google’s help document here.
Recently I see a lot of instances where Google Top Stories ranking syndicated content from Yahoo above or instead of original content. This is disturbing especially for publishers. Yahoo has no canonicals back to original content but sometimes they link back. pic.twitter.com/IsE6EQofNZ— John Shehata (@JShehata) September 16, 2019
The Change in Perspective
Previously, Google advised those who syndicated their content to use a canonical tag. This tag was meant to communicate to Google that the content was being copied from your site. However, this method didn’t always prevent syndicated content from outranking the original source.
Google’s new recommendation is to block indexing of your content. This is a more effective solution for those who wish to avoid duplication by syndication partners. This advice is particularly relevant for Google News, but it also applies to Google Search.
The Implications of This Change
This change in Google’s recommendation has significant implications for content creators and digital marketers. If you have been syndicating content and using the canonical tag to avoid duplication, Google’s new advice suggests that this tag won’t do the job anymore. Instead, you should ensure to block the page from being indexed.
If you have publishers syndicating your content, requiring them to use the canonical tag is no longer an effective strategy to ensure your content would outrank your syndication partners. This change may require a shift in your content syndication strategy.
Best Practices Moving Forward
Given this change, what are the best practices moving forward? Here are a few recommendations:
- Block Syndicated Content: To avoid duplication, block your syndicated content from being indexed. This can be done using the robots.txt file or meta tags.
- Communicate with Syndication Partners: If you have syndication partners, communicate this change to them. Encourage them to block the syndicated content from being indexed.
- Monitor Your Content: Keep a close eye on your content’s performance. If you notice any issues with duplication or ranking, take immediate action.
- Stay Updated: SEO is a dynamic field. Stay updated with the latest recommendations from Google to ensure your strategies are effective.
Google’s new stance on canonical tags for syndicated content marks a significant shift in SEO best practices. By understanding this change and adapting your strategies accordingly, you can ensure your content continues to perform well in search rankings.
Remember, the goal is to provide unique, valuable content to your audience. By focusing on this, you can navigate the ever-changing landscape of SEO and achieve success in your digital marketing efforts.