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I penned a blog post that ended up being covered widely. I'd like to turn it into a landing page page on my main product site which is on a different domain. I don't want to remove my old blog post since it has comments and is one of my most popular articles, but otherwise would like to copy the content pretty much word for word on my main site. My main site has a much stronger domain authority, but the post was initially posted on (and received many links to) my blog, which is a much newer domain with less domain authority.

I know I can avoid duplicate content with a canonical link tag, but I am wondering what the SEO ramifications would be if I copied blog content to my main domain and set a canonical URL on my (original) blog post to point to the (new) landing page on my main domain.

Would my post rise in the SERP if I did this? My reasoning:

  1. My main domain has a much stronger domain authority than my blog domain, stronger domain = higher ranking.
  2. Canonical URL tags (from what I understand) should tell Google to pass the link juice my blog post got from coverage to the new landing page on my stronger domain.

This seems too good to be true. Could Google penalize me somehow for moving my content to a new domain to try to rank higher?

  • Canonical tags have nothing to do with the value of links being passed. Where ever you got this idea is completely wrong. Cheers!! – closetnoc Mar 3 '17 at 3:15
  • I'm afraid you are incorrect closetnoc, : webmasters.googleblog.com/2009/02/specify-your-canonical.html " It also helps to make sure that properties such as link popularity are consolidated to your preferred version." – Max Mar 3 '17 at 5:04
  • @Max This refers to canonical tags on the same domain. The whole question of what a canonical tag will do across two separate domains is completely different. No link value will be passed. On a single domain, it will be. I guess I should have been clearer. ;-) As a side note, you generally should not quote anything Google says that old. Algorithms, even major algorithms have changed many times since then. I do appreciate your linking the blog post however! It was a good reminder. Cheers!! – closetnoc Mar 3 '17 at 15:51
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There is no any penalty, but moving your blog post to your main site will not going to increase higher ranking for that specific post.

You're thinking, your blog post will get higher ranking because of juicyrank which will pass through canonical/or 301 redirect to your main site plus your main site domain authority is high, so it will score your document rank high in SERP, but that's will not going to happen.

The reason is 301 redirection and canonical link tag does not transfer all kind of link juicy as we think about it, because there are lot's of spammer buy expired domain and do 301 redirection, so to prevent blackhat technique Google will not going to pass all the juicy as you think about it.

That's why Google introduce change of address tool, On that webmaster already implemented 301 redirection , but using that tool, it will pass maximum number of juicyrank to new URL. Same thing apply to all webmaster who try to move their site from http to https (Search about link juicy on john post).

So be careful, 301 redirection or canonical link tag does not pass 100% juicy, because spammer already doing nasty things with expired domain who still have active links on it.

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When it comes to canonical tags, you have to be careful. You will notice that most examples are for pages on the same domain. There is a perfectly valid reason for this.

The canonical tag was designed primarily for sites where additional pages are generated because of parameters such as e-commerce and other similar examples found in blog sites. When the canonical tag was created, it was not thought to be useful across multiple domains and was only intended for the one single domain. The RFC confirms this with updates that reflect the use across two domains.

For this reason, you will find most all examples on the net are parrots of each other and mostly refer to only one domain. As well, you will find a lot of misrepresentation of the truth on some of these posts. Afterall, SEOs are not technical people and some are just repeating what someone else has said.

So what is really happening?

In a nutshell, if you have a page such as /product?id=2368&size=large with a canonical tag pointing to /product?id=2368 any link to /product?id=2368&size=large could pass value to /product?id=2368 as the preferred page. When you set the preferred page using a canonical tag on a single domain, you have told the search engine to essentially ignore the duplicate. As a nicety, Google will count any value the duplicate page has for the original. How that works specifically, Google does not make clear. Google takes the canonical tag as a "hint" which is code for "we will consider it if it makes sense to us". In otherwords, it is not a lock that any value will be passed.

Any canonical tags across domains such as example.com/reallyhotpost/ to myoriginaldomain.com/iposteditheretoo/ will not be treated the same. The intent is different and opens up a whole new can of worms. For example, are the two domains owned by the same person or not? What if one domain is a spam domain? Can a series of additional posts on many domains boost the value of the original? As for the last question, I would say, It depends. For example, what if the posts are not of much value? Should they become more valuable? I am sure that there is some value in canonical tags across domains, however, because Google uses one simple primary criteria in creating algorithms, "Can the action/entity/condition be manipulated to artificially boost a pages rank?", I would say that Google, in the case of cross domain canonical tags, will not pass link value. It does not makes sense to. Doing so will encourage spamming. And since I do not see this as a spam technique, I would say that it does not.

Also consider that in your question, you are asking, if a canonical tag from a post on a lower value domain to the same post just added to a higher value domain will help the higher value domain? I look at it this way. Can a Yugo tow a 30 ton dump truck? Not likely.

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