Canonical Binds Google +1 for Paid, Organic and Social

Posted on 13. Apr, 2011 by in Digital Marketing



Google’s +1 ecosystem will shortly be available for users to +1 ads, organic results and webpages. However in many circumstancies, neither the ad, organic result or web page will share the same URL… Google +1

  • Ads – example.com/hello?campaign=12345
  • Organic Result – example.com/hello?facet=red
  • Web Pages – example.com/Hello/

Canonicalisation in the form of tracking, filters, facets, upper/lowercase mix, trailing slash etc will skew +1 results. Like PageRank, +1 could get shared across multiple URLs diluting its (social) impact. This will directly effect how many +1 show against your ad or web page. If Google +1 is tied to rankings and Quality Score, it could impact your wallet too.

No doubt (we’ll pre-empt credit here) Google have thought of this, like how they algorithmically try and determine the canonical between one or more of the same URL.

Canonical Link Element

Algorithm’s aside, it will be no surprise if we’re subject to a Google Webmaster video from the people’s champion himself hinting to use a canonical link element to bind +1′s across multiple URLs.

Google +1 Canonical

The poorly created infographic, if I dare call it that, shows how URLs from multiple sources could be combined into one using the canonical link element (or ‘tag’ for short). For example, a paid search landing page would contain the canonical link element with the URL a website wish to promote on search engines.

Google, among others, use the canonical tag for similar means. In fact, Google’s already started a canonical quest with rich snippets and Product Search.

Without doubt, we’ll see the canonical tag raise its head and have greater important in search, and digital marketing in general. Hopefully the term ‘canonical’ will no longer just be technical speak, being introduced to the lingo of paid search, social and affiliate marketers as +1 influences our lives. I say, bring it on – im getting bored of being called a ‘techie’ when I use the term canonical.

What say you Google, will the canonical and +1 go hand-in-hand?

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