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.
It seems that search engine are digging through Twitter more and more
. In the past few days a came across a few episodes which made me think about how much search engine are considering Twitter content as valuable enough to be included into their own search results.
Let’s take a look at Bing first. Try looking for Al Gore this query on Bing: the very first result will be it’s Twitter page with is real time twits. This entry comes also before his personal website. This has been also confirmed by a public statement from Bing published on its community page.
Something interesting happens with Google as well. A few days ago I posted a link to one of my websites I found and I wanted to share with my Twitter followers. Analytics record show the following as the very first visit on the website right after the link was published on twitter:
126.96.36.199 invx.com [01/Jul/2009:02:49:01 +0200] “GET /a HTTP/1.1″ 404 136 “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)” “-”
Clearly the page was just being crawled by Google. The link has not apperead anywhere else and it is not a fronpage or entry page for search engines on the website.
This it’s just another proof on how important Twitter is becoming in terms on search value. It’s not going to take long before Google itself will either buy or create its own real time search tool.
What really is Twitter?
Instant messaging platform? Social network? None of the above?
Twitter is a search engine that indexes conversations about content
Going further in analyzing Twitter through this description, he also defines another crucial aspect:
Popularity isn’t determined by backlinking in the traditional SEO sense, but self-designated by the number of retweets and followers.
…which basically defines quality information, as for every search engine.
The Twitter Search Engine
So, if we realized what Twitter actually is, let’s take a look around its main features as a search engine.
The interesting thing though is that the search feature only appears at the very bottom of twitter.com. Moreover, it’s worth to check the advanced search feature, which has plenty of features for real time search.
Why are these feature not properly exploited yet? Do you think we’re gonna see a TwitterAdWords or TwitterAdsense anytime soon?