When To Use Rel Canonical Or Noindex …Or Each

When To Use Rel Canonical Or Noindex ...Or Both

In a Google web optimization office-hours hangout Google’s John Mueller was requested whether or not rel canonical or the noindex tag was one of the best method for coping with duplicate and skinny content material in an ecommerce web site. John Mueller mentioned each choices after which urged a 3rd option to deal with it.

Noindex Directive

The noindex meta tag is a directive, which implies that Google should obey the meta tag and drop the net web page from showing within the search outcomes.

All that the noindex tag does is to drop that web page from displaying up in Google’s search outcomes.

Google’s official documentation states:

“You possibly can forestall a web page or different useful resource from showing in Google Search by together with a noindex meta tag or header within the HTTP response. When Googlebot subsequent crawls that web page and sees the tag or header, Googlebot will drop that web page totally from Google Search outcomes, no matter whether or not different websites hyperlink to it.”

Rel Canonical

A rel=canonical tag is a touch, not a directive. It provides Google a suggestion for which URL you need proven within the search outcomes.


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That is helpful when there are a number of pages which are comparable, particularly when a procuring CMS generates a number of pages for a similar product with often the one distinction being one thing trivial like the colour of the merchandise.

Google’s official rel canonical documentation explains the issue like this:

“A canonical URL is the URL of the web page that Google thinks is most consultant from a set of duplicate pages in your web site. For instance, in case you have URLs for a similar web page (instance.com?costume=1234 and instance.com/attire/1234), Google chooses one as canonical.”

The rel canonical is a helpful resolution as a result of it could consolidate all the hyperlink and relevance indicators again to the primary web page {that a} writer desires within the search outcomes.

However as a result of Google treats the rel canonical tag as a touch, there’s no assure that Google will obey it and the Google algorithm might resolve to indicate another web page within the search end result.


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Rel Canonical Versus Noindex

The individual asking the query wished clarification about whether or not it was greatest to make use of noindex or canonicalization.

It’s not an unreasonable factor to be confused about as a result of a case could possibly be made utilizing both resolution.

Right here’s the query:

“We have now an internet site… an ecommerce retailer with plenty of product variations which have skinny content material or duplicate content material even typically.

So …I made a listing of all of the URLs we wish to preserve or we wish to have listed… after which I made a listing of all of the URLs that we don’t wish to have listed.

The extra I labored on it the extra I requested this query to myself, canonicalization or noindexing?

I don’t know what the higher of these can be.”

Mueller answered:

“…I feel the final query of ought to I exploit noindex or rel canonical for one more web page is one thing the place there most likely isn’t an absolute reply.

In order that’s form of simply offhand. It’s like in the event you’re scuffling with that you simply’re not the one one that’s like, oh which one ought to I exploit?

That additionally often implies that each of those choices will be okay.

So often what I’d take a look at there may be what your actually robust choice there may be.

And if the robust choice is you actually don’t need this content material to be proven in any respect in search, then I’d use noindex.

In case your choice is, I really need the whole lot mixed in a single web page and if particular person ones present up, like no matter, however most of them ought to be mixed, then I’d use a rel canonical.

And finally the impact is analogous in that, nicely, it’s doubtless the web page that you simply’re gained’t be proven in search.

However with a noindex it’s undoubtedly not proven.

And with a rel canonical it’s extra doubtless not proven.”

A Third Solution to Take care of Duplicate and Skinny Pages

Mueller subsequent urged {that a} writer can use each noindex and rel canonical to be able to profit from each.

Mueller stated:

“…it’s also possible to do each of them.

And it’s one thing… if exterior hyperlinks, for instance, are pointing at this web page then having each of them there form of helps us to determine nicely, you don’t need this web page listed however you additionally specified one other one.

So possibly a number of the indicators we will simply ahead alongside.”

Combining Rel Canonical and Noindex just isn’t a generally mentioned resolution. However in response to John Mueller it’s a sound option to take care of duplicate and skinny content material.

However finally it’s actually as much as the writer to resolve primarily based on what their desired consequence is, whether or not consolidating hyperlink and relevance indicators is essential and whether or not ensuring the web page doesn’t seem in search is paramount.


Google’s Official Documentation of Noindex

Block Search indexing with noindex


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Google’s Official Documentation of Rel Canonical

Consolidate duplicate URLs

Which is Finest: NoIndex or Rel Canonical?

Watch at 16:49 Minute Mark

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