Matt Cutts Answers Canonicalization Tag QuestionBy: Chris Crum - April 10, 2009
Google’s Matt Cutts continues to post helpful videos at Google’s Webmaster Central YouTube channel, in which he answers user questions. The latest question he tackles comes from a guy in Chicago who asks:
Does the new canonicalization tag make it safe to add tracking arguments to some of my internal links without fear that Google will split the quality signals between the two addresses?
Matt says, "I believe you can do this," but he recommends trying it out on one directory or a small set of URLs at first to make sure it’s completely safe. If you can do something with cookies or your analytics package, Matt says that would be better because as he explains, "Suppose someone copies and pastes a URL…they might copy and paste it differently…and maybe that URL goes away or the tracking code changes…so if you can make the URLs unified. That’s still better, but I believe this sort of thing can still work totally fine with the new canonicalization tag."
Basically, Matt just wants you to be cautious and make sure it works for you to avoid any issues.
If the Canonicalization tag is something you’re not familiar with, it’s something that Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft announced jointly a while back in an effort to reduce duplicate content. Matt discussed it with WebProNews upon its launch:
Matt has also elaborated on the tag in a longer video and slideshow:
Matt is frequently posting informative videos to YouTube, which can generally be found here. He is also posting longer ones with presentations from conferences on his blog. These are both good resources for webmasters to bookmark.