We're implementing a feature where users can generate unique referral links that they can share and receive rewards when people sign up. The pages themselves have identical content.
There are two approaches:
- https://example.com/referral?code=abc with canonical to https://example.com/referral
I know that everything after the hash
# symbol is not being sent to servers altogether, so Google will not know that there's anything going on at all.
But when using query parameters, Google does acknowledge that those pages are duplicates of the
/referral one. Therefore, a canonical meta tag is needed to avoid duplicate content penalties.
So it all boils down to this - do canonical relations somehow change Google's crawling behavior? For example, could it treat pages as "nofollow" because they're essentially duplicates?
Would one approach be better than the other in any way?