Google Will Pass Along Feedback From Publishers Around Canonical vs Noindex For Syndication Partners

Jul 11, 2023 - 7:41 am 1 by

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Google's Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, said he would take the feedback he heard from the publisher community yesterday back to the Google Search team. This feedback was around Google's advice on using the noindex for syndication partners after removing the canonical advice from its docs a while back.

The canonical change, where Google said don't use canonicals for syndication partners is from a few months ago, but the backlash around this advice spiked yesterday when I covered Danny's presentation on how these syndication partners should be told to use noindex over canonical. You can read that advice over here.

But some big SEO news publishers got pretty vocal yesterday, which lead Danny Sullivan to say he will bring that feedback back to the Google team.

The feedback was primarily two-fold:

(1) Google should know better and be able to figure out who is the source and who is the syndicated partner. Heck, Google can detect cancer with AI, Google can do a lot but not figure out the original source?

(2) Google's advice was originally to use canonical for syndicated providers (Google may argue this) and to get these partners to use noindex is a huge ask. It will require new contracts, and a noindex is much stronger, telling Google not to index the content that the syndicated partner is licensing.

Google's stance is, it is your choice, if you produce content and you want it to rank and monetize based on traffic, then don't syndicate. If you want to make money syndicating your content, then do that.

Here are some tweets:

So John Shehata proposed:

So Danny will pass it on but not too fast, canonical might not be the answer:

Glenn Gabe also explained why he thinks this is kind of insane:

Do you think Google will come back with an alternative solution for syndicated content?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Update: After I published this, Danny Sullivan posted more about this on Twitter:


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