It came out back in October that Google was to be launching support for cross domain canonical remediation via the extention of the rel=”canonical” link element.
Therefore it should come as no suprise that Google have today announced further details on how to handle cross domain canonicalisation, of which support of the cross-domain link element was announced.
It should be highlighted this Google would still appear to be suggesting the use of other remediation prior to use of the link element, however it is certainly encouraging to see greater utilisation of this as a method to aid canonical remediation, as it isn’t always feasible to implement the 301.
The following points are also worth noting
- The rel=”canonical” link element is seen as a hint and not an absolute directive, we do try to follow it where possible.
- The rel=”canonical” link element should most certainly not be used for 1:1 mapping of sites. URL specific usage is recommended as 1:1 usage may ’cause problems’
I can’t see widespread usage of this in the short to medium term – particularly given much of the apathy that surrounds page specific canonical usage, however its a tool in the armoury should you ever need it.