2 more product launches for Google

Google is clearly going for some kind of record with product launches this quarter. Today we see them extending support for the rel=canonical tag across two different domains as well as adding sentiment analysis to reviews in Google Local.

I don’t see any situations where a cross domain rel=canonical tag would be the right thing to use but here is what Google has to say:

Q: Do the pages have to be identical?
A: No, but they should be similar. Slight differences are fine.

Q: For technical reasons I can’t include a 1:1 mapping for the URLs on my sites. Can I just point the rel=”canonical” at the homepage of my preferred site?
A: No; this could result in problems. A mapping from old URL to new URL for each URL on the old site is the best way to use rel=”canonical”.

Q: I’m offering my content / product descriptions for syndication. Do my publishers need to use rel=”canonical”?
A: We leave this up to you and your publishers. If the content is similar enough, it might make sense to use rel=”canonical”, if both parties agree.

Q: My server can’t do a 301 (permanent) redirect. Can I use rel=”canonical” to move my site?
A: If it’s at all possible, you should work with your webhost or web server to do a 301 redirect. Keep in mind that we treat rel=”canonical” as a hint, and other search engines may handle it differently. But if a 301 redirect is impossible for some reason, then a rel=”canonical” may work for you. For more information, see our guidelines on moving your site.

Q: Should I use a noindex robots meta tag on pages with a rel=”canonical” link element?
A: No, since those pages would not be equivalent with regards to indexing – one would be allowed while the other would be blocked. Additionally, it’s important that these pages are not disallowed from crawling through a robots.txt file, otherwise search engine crawlers will not be able to discover the rel=”canonical” link element.

Notice how it only works if the content is “similar” just like 301 redirects.

Review sentiments in Google Local

I like this feature although they would be better spending time fixing the terrible review process rather than working on new features. You can see it in action here.

Sentiment analysis Google Local

By Patrick Altoft. at 9:22AM on Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events. Follow Patrick Altoft on Twitter.

comments

  • http://www.tag44.com tag44

    Thanks for the post Patrick, Google will sure make a record in launching new products, anyway this new rel=canonical tag will surely help.

  • http://www.distilled.co.uk/blog/ Rob

    What’s that now? 40 new releases from Google in 72 days?

  • http://www.adamsherk.com adamsherk

    Patrick, one potential use of cross-domain rel=canonical is publishers that syndicate their content on other sites, as a lot of news sites deal with duplicate content issues caused by syndication. The catch is whether syndication partners will be willing to implement the tag (most aren’t willing to do things like block their duplicates from the engines). I did a write up of this at Will Publishers Add Cross-Domain Rel=Canonical to Syndication Deals?

  • http://www.blog-post-ideas-exposed.sparya.com Sparya

    Google is at present in expansion spree. It wants to be number one. That is the reason it so often releases a new product now and then. Ultimately the process is going to benefit the users.

  • http://sharkseo.com Dave

    “Notice how it only works if the content is “similar” just like 301 redirects.”

    Do you mean “just like regular canonical tags”? Also, that sentiment analysis on Google local is a good spot, that could potentially be huge…

  • http://ninjacom.mbpninjaaffiliate.com Raviaa

    @ Sparya said… “Google wants to be number one” – in what area?

    Trying to please anyone is not smart in today’s economy. I think Google would be smart enough to fully improve/optimize their current products/services and release new ones afterward

  • http://iphone4day.blogspot.com kakday

    Q: I’m offering my content / product descriptions for syndication. Do my publishers need to use rel=”canonical”?
    A: Nobody will do it. Most ecommerce websites will suffer otherwise. John Mu, why do you lie to the people?!

  • http://www.valueshop.co.uk valueshop

    Thanks for the post. Google will make a record of products. Nice sharing

  • http://www.online-business-cookbook.com/about Online Business Cookbook

    Are Google spreading themselves too thin? Cell phones, TV, Radio…They are starting to look a bit like old school IBM. What’s next, copiers?

    I’m looking forward to the cloudy Chrome though!

  • http://www.fairheadcreative.co.uk Adam Fairhead

    With the future of search being in question for the first time in a good while, I guess it makes sense that they are really pulling their fingers out to impress! Good catch, Patrick.

  • http://www.prospectsolution.com Prospect Solution

    rel=canonical is like –> When confronted with duplicate content, search engines will generally take one version and filter the others out. This can also happen when multiple domain names are involved, so while search engines are generally pretty good at choosing something reasonable, many webmasters prefer to make that decision themselves.

    It’s really a good information.

    Graduate Writing Jobs | Live Your Passion

  • http://www.rennellgarrett.com Rinnell Garrett

    Big G is really moving at the speed of light these days leaving all of its competitors behind with a huge margin. BTW I love google.

  • http://www.cube3marketing.com Paul

    It’s also worth noting that many people had concerns over confusing spiders with a ‘loop’ if the canonical tag was also placed on the canonical page. This was refuted by Google as having no negative affect at all.

    Just to put a few minds at rest!

    Paul Martin
    Cube3 MarketingDigital Marketing Agency

  • http://www.businessaccent.com Vic

    Thank you for sharing this Google SEO news. I am not yet familiar with a canonical tag or page, but surely I will study further and know how will this affects my blog and its future movements. Anyway I can explore your blog to know more about this. Thanks again.

  • http://www.thegooglegurus.co.uk Bolton SEO Manchester

    Google is always evolving, that’s why they’re number 1, and will stay that way for the forseeable future (despite Bing’s latest efforts with their advertising campaign). I was reading an interview with Matt Cutts recently, and he was saying that at the moment, Google are focusing on localising search results, so if you search for something in the UK, you are primarily shown UK results.

  • http://essaypoint.co.uk/ Essay Writing

    Google has proved so much in the internet world and is still doing so well until now.