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I have a sub page on a website that features an image gallery /gallery/gallery-name/ - this page contains a common description about the content of the gallery and thumbnails for the gallery items. The thumbnails are linking to a subpage /gallery/gallery-name/image-x/ - these subpages contain the image in higher quality and the thumbnails of the other images.

My question is that should I use a canonical on /gallery/gallery-name/image-x/ that points back to /gallery/gallery-name/?

I have already read about canonicals, I am a little bit familiar with them. Therefore I know this case is not about an exact duplicate version of a page. However I am not sure that it is a good idea to have hundreds of these image pages (on unique url's) since they don't have too much unique content. Only the high quality image and the page title differs (every image has a number).

Other thing is the "parent-children" relationship between the two pages from the content's view.

So is it possible that the high quality image on the image sub pages is enough unique content? Or is there any chance that it will be considered as content spam because the difference between the image pages is only one .jpg file and one word in the title?

I am a bit afraid to release these gallery pages, so I am thinking about to play safe and use a canonical on them. But I would really appreciate if somebody with more experience could help me to make the best decision.

  • "the difference between the image pages is only one .jpg file" - "only"? Isn't a picture worth a thousand words? – DocRoot Apr 26 '18 at 21:30
  • Not to search engines. They seek significantly different content - not just one image or its alt text. – WebElaine Apr 26 '18 at 21:31
  • @DocRoot not true to these images, most of them looks almost the same. – rihe Apr 27 '18 at 21:59
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Don't use a canonical - they are specifically meant for duplicates.

Instead, I would meta noindex (or restrict via robots.txt) the /gallery/gallery-name/image-x/ URLs so that anyone searching will find the parent gallery but not the individual enlargements in the SERPs.

  • "meta noindex" - Although what if you want Google to index the larger image for image-search? And what if the title is something the user might search for? – DocRoot Apr 26 '18 at 21:26
  • Then perhaps you would want to noindex your galleries and enable indexing of the individual images. Noindexing the page that a single enlargement is on however does not tell Google not to index the image itself. If you submit a sitemap with the URLs of the larger images, and noindex the individual large-image pages, that might be your ideal solution. – WebElaine Apr 26 '18 at 21:32
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For SEO plugins in Wordpress, there are actually options to noindex or exclude galleries, sliders from being accessed by Googlebot or any search engine bot. If you are using Yoast, there's a function point the user to the media attachment instead of the attachment page, which are usually done by the default in Wordpress. Do not use canonical, these are usually useful for text-based articles.

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