Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Vedra Kex on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, November 7, 2019).

I`m really confused about the canonical tag

I`m really confused about the canonical tag. If a global site is in English and the British site has /en-gb and has a product page with the duplicate content found also on the global site, do I use the canonical tag on the product page of the global site? But does that mean that then if someone searches for that page from UK, would land on the global page or will they still land on the UK page? Will the UK page still get the rankings? Also, if a swedish page has the same URL name as the global page apart from /se/product-page, will then all visitors land on the global page rather than the swedish page? As the canonical tag made the global product page the ultimate and true version.

If that has sense lol.

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YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Dave Elliott: Hreflang! Hreflang will prevent the duplicate content problems you are worried about. This is a decent primer.

    Then once you think you`ve worked it read this to utterly confuse yourself

    Hreflang is one of those things that seems really simple until you do it on a complex e-commerce site that has different blog pages and products and you can`t automate the entire thing.
  • Vedra Kex: Thank you for the link, read this one already, great post! I have a question:

    Do we always need to use the x-default tag for the English version of a page even if it has hreflang “en”? For instance, if I got German and English blog do I write the tags like this if I want anyone that doesn`t speak German lands on the English page? So basically same page will have 2 tags, "en" and "x-default". Is that correct?

    <link rel=“alternate” hreflang=“en” href=“” />
    <link rel=“alternate” hreflang=“x-default” href=“” />
    <link rel=“alternate” hreflang=“de” href=“” />
  • Dave Elliott: X default is a coverall for any language and location combo that isn`t covered in the rules you`ve used.

    Basically if you have some users from Lithuania who speak Spanish then they will be lead to the English version rather than the German.
  • Bill Hunt: The canonical tag is for each page and has no relation to a page in another market. Do not use another markets canonical on any page but itself. There are a few articles that get this very wrong and will result in entire markets from disappearing from Google. If still not clear say it out loud. He Google, glad you found my UK page but would prefer you use my global page instead. Set UK canonical to UK etc.

    To indicate these pages are for specific languages you use the Hreflang element as suggests.
  • Vedra Kex: Ah ok, do you mean that all pages have canonical tag as we want them to be indexed but they also have the appropriate hreflang tag?

    So for instance, if I want an english blog post to also be set as a fallback page for anyone for whom we don`t have a local content, would these tags be a good set up:

    <link rel=“canonical” href=“” />
    <link rel=“alternate” hreflang=“x-default” href=“” />
    <link rel=“alternate” hreflang=“en-gb” href=“” />

    So canonical tag says Google to index the page, x-default tell that it`s a fallback page for any other languages and "en" tell Google to show the page for English speaking visitors. Did I get this right?
  • Jacek Wieczorek: <link rel=“canonical” href=“” />
    <link rel=“alternate” hreflang=“x-default” href=“” />
    <link rel=“alternate” hreflang=“en-gb” href=“” />
  • Richard Hearne: hreflang should be your friend in this case.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, November 7, 2019).

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