Ian Miller: SEO thoughts & General Geekery

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My place to discuss what interests me in the world of SEO, SEM, Social Media and the odd bit of general geekery…

YouTube introduces the canonical tag on usernames

Earlier this year I tweeted that YouTube were guilty of not using the Google-promoted canonical tag when it came to multiple versions of the username profile page. So this:

http://www.youtube.com/mattcutts

and

http://www.youtube.com/user/mattcutts

both end up appearing in the index, as in this SERPs at the time:

7175272

However, now it looks like they’ve got their house in order and introduced the tag to tidy up the results:

youtubecanonical

Now, I’m sure that it wasn’t because of my humble tweet that YouTube made the change, but I’m glad that Google are practicing what they preach across their sites.

But, what does it mean for everyone else? Well if you’re an SEO and wondering about the real usefulness of “new” tags such as these are, then these indications do matter. Google has come under increasing criticism due to their seemingly “high and mighty” attitude to making proclamations that affect SEOs; but by at least practicing what they preach they are at least showing willing. Now we just have to find out where they use nofollow inappropriately…

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2 Responses

  1. Fishman5 says:

    YouTube is actually using the canonical tag wrong. They are not using the full URL in the canonical tag and it is causing an error. If your using the newest version of firefox you can see the canonical element in the address bar. If your on the canonical link the canonical element shows up as a gray C, if your not on the canonical link it shows up blog and you can actually click on the “C” and it tries to bring you to watch.com/?trackingurl

    Check it out and let me know what you all think.

  2. @millerian says:

    Interesting, it certainly was working before when I tested it. Now I get the canoncial version taking me to the user name with 3 /'s giving an error page.

    However, you're completely right about using the full URL. Without specifying that you are only doing half the job.

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