Take the 2-minute tour ×
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How should one use rel="canonical" in sortable paginated lists?

An unsorted list of products is not the same as the same list sorted, nor are lists sorted in different ways equivalent. For example, compare:

  • http://www.example.com/desktops?sort=p.price&order=ASC&limit=5&page=2 with
  • http://www.example.com/desktops?sort=p.price&order=DESC&limit=5&page=2

These are two very different pages, but they have the same canonical URL. Surely this is incorrect?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, using rel-canonical for these URLs would be (most of the time) incorrect. RFC 6596 defines:

The target (canonical) IRI MUST identify content that is either duplicative or a superset of the content at the context (referring) IRI.

This is not the case for your content.

If you have a page that lists all products (without pagination), you could use its URL as the canonical URL for the paginated URLs. If you don’t have such a page, don’t use rel-canonical.

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you very much for the answer. I am going to use canonical on the first page only, because without it I have many similar pages in webmaster tools. Example: bit.ly/KrJd55 d.pr/i/wuXQ+ –  user66638 Jan 5 at 17:59
    
@user66638: You shouldn’t use the first page as canonical URL either. –  unor Jan 6 at 0:20

I think we should not use rel="canonical" on pages with duplicate content that seek to merely "play" the search engines.

I believe that rel="canonical" is to be used in situations where duplicate content is necessary to better explain a certain product on a site.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.