What is the Canonical Link Tag?
A few months ago Google introduced the Canonical Link Tag.
This tag is supposed to solve the duplicate content issue on different URL, which can negatively affect those page’s ranking. It just tells search engine the preferred version of the content, in order to be ranked better by the engines themselves.
The Canonical Link Tag should reside in the HEAD section of the page, and the href attribute should point to the URL of the chosen page. That should be enough.
<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.yourURL.com/">
Canonical Link Tag vs. Redirect
It is way better than a 301 redireccion: it’s search engine to be redirected, not the users hence not affecting the user experience though making sure rankings wouldn’t be affected.
A 301 redireccion would actually affects search engine who have to update their rankings according to the quality of the content of those pages
However, while the 301 redirects visitors and search engines from different domains, the Canonical link tag can be used only into a single domai, its folders and subdomains. That’s the only downside. Still it’s a pretty tool.
Possible application of the Canonical Link Tag
Usually PHP pages create dynamic content with random urls, lacking of informative content related in any way to the content. They usually have the visitor’s session ID and merge content from different sources. The Canonical Link Tag can preserve rankings of the original page which featured the content.
To learn more about the Canonical Link Tag, check out this post from Matt Cutts or take a look into the Google Webmaster Center.
Search the original Google algorithm and show side-by-side comparisons to Caffeine.
Last week Google announced a next-generation architecture for Google’s web search, called Caffeine.
They also kidnly asked users to contribute in the effort of benchmarking the new technology providing some feedback on their searches through this URL:
Anyway, a few days ago a new service has been released which compares in real time results from both Google and Google Caffeine: GoogleCompare.
I’m not going to explain any more about the service since it’s pretty straightforward: the whole thing has a funny retro-style, kind of coffe adverts from the ’50s. It’s quite funny. Then you just type your keyword and click on brew and you get a quick comparison eventually showing how SERPs have changed due to the new algorithm.
So how did your ranking changed due to the update? I’ve have not experienced any major change in my rankings. However search speed has increased a lot… I guess that was the main effort behind the development of Caffeine.
I’ll keep an eye on Caffeine for the next few days if anything changes…
Analytics360 integrates Google Analytics into WordPress
MailChimp has relesead Analytics360, a WordPress plugin which brings Google Analytics in your WordPress dashboard.
I recently came across this really useful wordpress plugins which basically integrates your Google Analytics account straight into your WordPress installation.
I’m quite of an analytics freak I must say, I spend way to much time flickering through browser tabs checking all the different analytics accounts I have.
This WordPress extension comes quite handy, especially when running multiple accounts on the same service (Google Analytics in this case).
360 Analytics does not reduce or modifiy the quality and quantity of information you usually get about your website when logging into your Google Analytics account.
The plugin comes straight from MailChimp and can be used in conjunction with their email marketing services to track the performance of your email campaigns on your site traffic.
By the way: I should start considering how effective are WordPress plugins in terms of marketing… this very extension is quite of an example)