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I have a blog I've been hosting at Tumblr for a number of years, using a custom domain name. Let's call this example.com. I'm planning a migration off Tumblr to a server I control.

The problem I'm facing is -- even after I point example.com to my own server (where I'll have a separate blog system running), the content will still exist at Tumblr -- just at the default tumblr domain name

https://my-tumblr-username.tumblr.com

In addition to this, Tumblr inserts a canonical <link/> tag into the <head/>

<link rel="canonical" href="http://my-tumblr-username.tumblr.com/post/545364745/post-title" />

Is there a way to control this tag in Tumblr? I'd like my domain to be the canonical source, but I didn't see an obvious way to tell Tumblr to remove this link, or to have them point to my canonical domain name. It doesn't appear to be part of the Tumblr design template.

Is my only option to delete the posts from my old Tumblr site completely?

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i would avoid using canonical. Beside of this, you could have backlinks to your tumblr site... Why not redirect them all: tumblr to the new one?

Presume your Tumblr site has urls like

http://example.tumblr.com//posts/<POST-ID>/<POST-TITLE>

and your self hosted site has urls like:

http://example.com/<POST-TITLE>

You than make redirects from Tumblr to your self hosted site page to page with meta refresh:

Insert into http://example.tumblr.com//posts/<POST-ID>/<POST-TITLE>

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;url='http://example.com/{block:PermalinkPage}{block:PostSummary}{PostSummary}{/block:PostSummary}{/block:PermalinkPage}'">

This should redirect a Tumblr post page to news site post page. If there is a non-post page on Tumblr, than it will be redirected to the root, example.com.

Surely you can manually add the url of your new page.

Or do redirects with javascript, like adding to Tumblr head something like:

<script type="text/javascript">
    window.location.replace("http://example.com/new-page.html");
</script>
  • My concern is having two different, crawlable pages with a canonical link in the header, and what message that might send to google. – Alan Storm Aug 24 '17 at 17:38
  • canonical is just a recommendation - google isn't forced to follow it. If your tumblr page has more backlinks, it is well possible, that canonical will not work - because google will mean, tumblr page is better. Beside of this, it is questionable, whether canonical passes link juice - could work, but not must: look here moz.com/community/q/… – Evgeniy Aug 25 '17 at 9:18
  • I'm less concerned about pure "link juice" than I am about conveying accurate intent to Google, and to the internet. I want the articles on my page to be the canonical source. I do not want the tumblr pages to be the canonical source. Have two pages with a canonical source with the same/similar content would send a less than clear signal to anyone looking at the pages. – Alan Storm Aug 26 '17 at 3:09

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