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  1. #1
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    A Dreaded Canonical Tag Question

    I apologize ahead of time for dropping a question about the dreaded canonical tag. But, since we have such a bright community I thought I would give it a shot

    I'm wondering if removing a canonical tag from a URL takes away some "juice" or domain authority from the URL that it was pointing at?

    Very curious to see if this is a straightforward answer or if it depends on a bunch of other factors. I'm guessing the latter.
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
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  2. #2
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    Re: A Dreaded Canonical Tag Question

    Sorry Colan but canonical conundrums are not my cup of tea.

    I'll leave this to some of the more techy types in the house.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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  3. #3
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    Re: A Dreaded Canonical Tag Question

    Why would you want to remove the tag?

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    Re: A Dreaded Canonical Tag Question

    Hey Simon, for the most part it's just a hypothetical question. What are your thoughts on it?
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
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  5. #5
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    Re: A Dreaded Canonical Tag Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Colan Nielsen View Post
    I apologize ahead of time for dropping a question about the dreaded canonical tag. But, since we have such a bright community I thought I would give it a shot

    I'm wondering if removing a canonical tag from a URL takes away some "juice" or domain authority from the URL that it was pointing at?

    Very curious to see if this is a straightforward answer or if it depends on a bunch of other factors. I'm guessing the latter.
    So if I'm understanding the question, you're essentially asking if canonical tags pass some sort of page rank to the page they are pointed to? That if you had a bunch of pages with canonical tags pointed to another page and then you removed those paths, would the page that lost the canonical tags be affected?

    The short answer is no. In my experience, canonical tags do not pass any sort of "juice". The page will rank the same as it did previously.
    Robert Ramirez - Bruce Clay, Inc.

  6. #6
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    Re: A Dreaded Canonical Tag Question

    I've always thought that rel=canonical doesn't pass any sort of juice/authority/rank, but I found this post from Dr. Pet at MOZ, where he claims:

    "We suspect it passes authority/PageRank for links to the non-canonical URL, with some small amount of loss (similar to a 301)."

    Rel=Confused? Answers to Your Rel=Canonical Questions - Moz
    Eric Marshall
    zcreative.com

  7. #7
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    Re: A Dreaded Canonical Tag Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Marshall View Post
    I've always thought that rel=canonical doesn't pass any sort of juice/authority/rank, but I found this post from Dr. Pet at MOZ, where he claims:

    "We suspect it passes authority/PageRank for links to the non-canonical URL, with some small amount of loss (similar to a 301)."

    Rel=Confused? Answers to Your Rel=Canonical Questions - Moz
    So I respect Dr. Pete, he certainly knows his stuff, but this is contrary to my experience. I've had the opportunity to test this and the difference between the amount of equity that passes when you 301 redirect a page vs. when you use a canonical is extremely different.

    Lots of variables here obviously, but the fact that a 301 is a directive and a canonical is a recommendation kind of highlights the difference in my mind. If you're trying to pass link juice to another page, I would always recommend using a 301 redirect.
    Robert Ramirez - Bruce Clay, Inc.

  8. #8
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    Re: A Dreaded Canonical Tag Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Colan Nielsen View Post
    ...it's just a hypothetical question. What are your thoughts on it?
    It's highly unlikely they would penalize for non-use of a canonical.

    Google has said that they use the canonical value as a reference and they may not use it at all if other indicators point back to the original URL. We've seen the canonical ignored by Google many times.

  9. #9
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    Re: A Dreaded Canonical Tag Question

    Thanks for reviving a two year old thread! Great insight all.
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
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  10. #10
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    Re: A Dreaded Canonical Tag Question

    Funny...I just now realized this was and old question...really old
    Eric Marshall
    zcreative.com

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