So Who’s Canonical Now?

by Aaron Bradley on April 21, 2009

in SEO

It's now been over two months since Google et al. announced support for <link rel="canonical">, so I thought I'd do a spot check to see who's using the new <link> tag attribute and who isn't.  As you'll see, so far the response has been, well, underwhelming.

SEO Industry

http://www.seo.com/
Not observed.

http://www.seochat.com/
Not observed.

http://www.seobook.com/
Not observed.

http://www.seomoz.org/

Not observed.

http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk/
Not observed.

http://sphinn.com/
Not observed.

http://searchenginewatch.com/
Not observed.

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/canonical-link-tag/

Not observed.

Search Engines

http://www.yahoo.com/

http://ysearchblog.com/

Not observed.

http://www.live.com/

http://blogs.msdn.com/livesearch/

http://www.google.com/

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/02/specify-your-canonical.html

Not observed.  But…

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35291

<link rel="canonical"
href="/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35291″ />

Online Shopping

http://www.shopping.com/
Not observed.

http://www.shopzilla.com/

http://www.shopzilla.com/clothing-accessories/10000000/browse

Not observed.

http://shopping.yahoo.com/
Not observed.

http://www.overstock.com/
Not observed.

http://www.bizrate.com/
Not observed.

http://www.amazon.com/

http://www.amazon.com/books-used-books-textbooks/b?ie=UTF8&node=283155

Not observed.

Blogs and Social Media

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

Not observed.

http://technorati.com/
<link rel="canonical" href="http://technorati.com/" />

http://www.myspace.com/
Not observed.

http://www.facebook.com/
Not observed.

http://wordpress.org/
Not observed.

http://dailykos.com/

http://www.dailykos.com/

Not observed.  No 301-driven canonical domain name, either (see my note on nytimes, below).

Poker Sites

I added this category because online gaming sites are supposed to care so much about SEO.

http://poker.bodoglife.com/
Not observed.

http://www.pokerstars.com/
Not observed.

http://www.partypoker.com/
Not observed.

http://www.partypoker.com/
Not observed.

Media and Gateway Sites

http://www.latimes.com/
Not observed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/
Not observed.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/
Not observed.

http://www.suite101.com/

http://colleges.suite101.com/

Not observed.

http://www.about.com/

http://drugs.about.com/

Not observed.

http://www.nytimes.com/

http://nytimes.com/

http://www.nytimes.com/pages/politics/index.html

http://nytimes.com/pages/politics/index.html

http://www.nytimes.com/pages/politics/

http://nytimes.com/pages/politics/

Not observed.  Just as an aside I pasted all of the above URLs because, aside from not supporting the <link rel="canonical> tag, nytimes.com isn't even doing supposedly industry-standard 301 redirects to posit canonical folder URLs and – gasp – a canonical domain name.  Marshall, baby, you're my hero:  what gives? :)  At least it's there for about.com.

If you were counting TLDs, you'd see that 36 sites aren't employing the tag, and two are (one and a half, really, since only one of the google.com URLs I checked was carrying it).

Make the nay count 37 if you add SEO Skeptic.  By the way, I'm actually a proponent of the tag, but haven't got around to employing it here (after I upgrade, after I upgrade).  Of course, with WordPress, I'd need a plugin, so did a quick search:  sure enough, I found one on yoast.com.  And that brings the "yea" count three (or two and a half):
<link rel="canonical"
href="http://yoast.com/wordpress/canonical/"/>

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