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I'm working with an e-commerce platform and I'm not sure about the behaviour of the canonical rel tag after changing some URL keys.

This is the specific situation:

  • old_url.html -> redirects to -> new_url.html
  • The platform adds a canonical rel tag that points to old_url.html

wouldn't that keep the search engines in a loop? Like going from old to new to old to new etc.?

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    The search engines are likely to ignore the canonical tag in this case. – MrWhite Sep 21 '13 at 18:12
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Sure does sound like it. Your 301 redirect says new_url.html is the correct page for that content but your canonical URLs say it is old_url.html. That's a loop if I ever saw one.

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Yes, it is a loop. But I doubt any search engine would be dumb enough to actually go looping through this. But you should be aware that a search engine might regard it strange that each URL says that the other one is actually the right place to go to.

I cannot imagine a valid use case for a setup like this - you (or the platform maintainer) should decide for one one of the URLs and have the other 301-redirect there.

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