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Is it right to transfer the value from blog posts to related category? In my opinion, it's not a good practice and then I think we will be requiring blog category pages to make sure we are driving link value from blog posts to the related category.

E.g.

example.com/blog-post/gifts has a canonical reference of example.com/gifts

What I think, if we categorize the blogs posts as:

example.com/blog-posts/category/gifts has a canonical reference of example.com/gifts

  • Do any of /blog-post/gifts, /gifts, and /blog-posts/category/gifts have the same contents? – Stephen Ostermiller Aug 29 at 8:32
  • No Stephen, but they want to let search engines to know that if it's indexing any blog post page, the CTR value should be transferred to that category page. – Rajat Aug 29 at 8:35
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Canonical tags can only be used when two pages have the same content. They tell search engines which of the two duplicate URLs is your preferred URL that you would like to have indexed. When you use canonical tags for any other purpose, search engines are likely to ignore the tags. Google especially has been ignoring canonical tags when the content of the pages isn't duplicate for a few years now.

If you use a canonical tag on a blog post pointing to the category page, what you are trying to say to search engines is: "Don't index this page full of text, rather index and rank this other page that has a bunch of links on it." That doesn't make any SEO sense. Pages with text are better for SEO than pages of links. Users don't like to click from the search results to get another page with a lot of links from which they have to click again to get what they want. Users would rather land directly on some specific page that has exactly what they want. Google knows this and ranks pages accordingly. Category pages don't have a lot of SEO value. It is difficult to get them to rank, and rightly so. If you want your category pages to rank, it is best to enhance them beyond the default functionality provided by most blog platforms.

The best way to pass value from one page to another on your site is not to use canonical tags. Rather, use links from your blog pages to your valuable pages.

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Let me give my answer from Google's perspective. In the guide Consolidate duplicate URLs - Define a canonical page for similar or duplicate pages, in paragraph Why should I choose a canonical URL? Google says:

To specify which URL that you want people to see in search results.

Therefore, if you install a canonical link to a category web page on a web page representing one product, then you are telling Google that the content of the web page of one product is unimportant and you do not want to show it in search results. However, in my humble opinion, content representing a single product takes precedence over content representing a product listing or some category. This is indirectly confirmed by the fact that Google is two or even three times less likely to be crawling for web pages of lists than for web pages representing some entity, that is, a product like yours.

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  • There is a bit more to it than specifying "which URL that you want people to see in search results" - it only applies to similar or duplicate pages, so Google won't consider it in this case because the pages don't have similar content. However I agree with your assessment about the importance of product pages. Removing the product pages from the listings sounds like a bad idea! They generally have more focused content and so are more optimised. Also, if a user searches for a product, they're looking for info on that product - not a listing page that they then have to click through from. – FluffyKitten Aug 31 at 21:55

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