How to markup the documentation of the different version of our product?
- The content is not strictly identical across version,
- but it is very often the same,
- we wish newer version to be preferred by seo engines,
- but older versions are preferred since they are older.
for a couple of year our strategy has been to follow this answer to the question
- have all url prefixed by their version
- create a "latest" prefix that is a symlink pointing to the most recent version
- the most recent version have a
<link rel="canonical"targeting the "latest"
- all version (except the most recent) start with a disclaimer indicating that this version is not the latest, this disclaimer include a link pointing to the latest version
This is an example of our urls :
- old version : https://www.itophub.io/wiki/page?id=2_4_0%3Auser%3Astart
- latest version : https://www.itophub.io/wiki/page?id=latest%3Auser%3Astart
- latest version duplicate, with the
<link rel="canonical": https://www.itophub.io/wiki/page?id=2_7_0%3Auser%3Astart
This was meant to strengthen the "latest" url by having a stable url over time and by having several pages linking to it.
This does not seem to work, since google continues to prefer olds pages.
What should we do?
I only see the nuclear weapon here : adding on all version a
<link rel="canonical" targeting the "latest".