2 more product launches for Google

  • 0
  • December 16, 2009
Patrick Altoft

Patrick Altoft

Director of Strategy

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

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