Google: Identical Pages vs Equivalent Pages When Using Canonicals

Sep 10, 2015 - 8:26 am 6 by

Green Tech Google 640

The topic of when you are allowed to redirect or use a canonical from page A to page B is always an interesting topic.

Google's John Mueller addressed the topic in a recent Google Webmaster Help thread and he was very careful in the word selection this time.

He said that your pages do not need to be "identical" but rather they only need to be "equivalent" when communicating to Google that the pages should be redirected to each other via a canonical.

John said in the thread:

If these pages are equivalent, even if they're not 100% identical, I'd use a rel=canonical here. With that, all of the signals (such as links to those pages) that we have for the "set" of URLs will be combined in your preferred version. Using a noindex on the other hand would result in only one page being indexed, with all the other pages from that set - and any associated signals we might have - dropping out.

He said the pages do not need to be 100% identical to use it and in fact, even if they are just equivalent, you should use the canonical and don't noindex the page because using the canonical will pass the signals from the old page to the new page.

How do you define equivalent? Well, it means equal in value, amount, function, meaning and so on. So not an exact match but the same output.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

 

Popular Categories

The Pulse of the search community

Follow

Search Video Recaps

 
Google AI Overviews, Ranking Volatility, Web Filter, Google Ads AI Summaries & More - YouTube
Video Details More Videos Subscribe to Videos

Most Recent Articles

Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Working On Surfacing More Content That Comes From The Heart

May 20, 2024 - 7:51 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

Danny Sullivan: We Speak Directly To Engineers Working On Google Ranking Systems

May 20, 2024 - 7:41 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

Comments To Notes In Google Search?

May 20, 2024 - 7:31 am
Google

Google Says Notes On Search Now Ends Soon

May 20, 2024 - 7:21 am
Bing Search

Bing Lets You Turn Off AI Responses But Google Doesn't Let You Turn Off AI Overviews

May 20, 2024 - 7:11 am
Search Forum Recap

Daily Search Forum Recap: May 17, 2024

May 17, 2024 - 4:00 pm
Previous Story: When News Publishers Nofollow Links To You, When You're The Source