Google announced at SMX East in New York this week that the canonical tag is to be expanded by the end of this year. The canonical tag is basically a tool for telling Google that pages with identical content should be filed under a single URL or web address.
Until now, this particular tool is only available from Google – although both Bing and Yahoo have said that they will support in the near future. It also only works within pages from the same domain. Now Google plans to expand the canonical tag so that it can be used to associate content published across multiple domains with one particular domain. In other words, it is to be given a cross-domain capability.
This has potentially interesting applications for owners of international multi-country sites. For instance, if you have a dotcom site but would like to locally host each country’s home page directly in the country – but you aren’t able to prevent that content from also publishing on the dotcom, this new tag would help you do it. Of course, we have to see it first!
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