C is for Canonical - What does it mean in context of google, seo and ranking
Crawlers are busy at work ! They are like the un-dead of the night working hard while you sleep in your bed. Google for example crawls pretty much the www with dare I say gay abandon ! It wants to know what is being served globally on-line, this is google's business and its dominant USP in the world. It is why it is so powerful and provides the world with the best search (if loosing some ground of late IMO).
Google sends automated scripts to achieve this task and they find your site and go to work trying to find every single SERVED page on your domain. This sometimes results in ghost like pages which as a user you might be able to see and experience but at times the web pages the google crawler finds are just bizarre !
Consider the 2 url's http://roatan-diving.com and http://roatan-diving.com/?fontstyle=f-larger google here finds what they have to assume is DUPLICATE content pages diluting the quality of the original in this case home page ! So how do you combat this ? Google have devised a way that we can tell google what page we WANT to be the only page so that there is seemingly no duplicated content.
Check the following syntax
<link href="http://roatan-diving.com/" rel="canonical" />
As a webmaster insert this into a page to make a statement to reflect the desired CANONICAL relationship in this case we are saying that this page should be not considered look at the home page instead (at least as far as google are concerned)
This for a CMS is no mean feat - for a small site it is easy the irony being for a small site this wont be an issue! So how do I get for example Joomla to solve canonical issues ?
Check these guys out http://www.bretteleben.de/lang-en/joomla/canonical-url-modul.html
Install the free module and follow the instructions below:
WIP - please be patient as I play and send some good tips and tutorials for this awesome module.
Further reading: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/02/specify-your-canonical.html
Maybe here is a solution to this problem - untested by myself yet but looking ok and big clues.
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