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For pages that have rel="canonical" and are duplicates of other pages on my site, does it make sense to optimize those pages? Would optimize the duplicate page with rel="canonical" in terms of the title tag and including keywords help the page that the rel canonical is pointing to when it comes to SEO.

For example, if I had a page called dogs1 and another page called dogs2 with rel="canonical" pointing to dogs1. Would optimizing dogs2 help dogs1 with SEO?

Clarification: I know link juice is passed using rel="canonical" so in terms of external SEO, the answer would probably be yes, but in terms of internal SEO like keywords and optimizing titles, would it still be benefical?

  • Don't forget to approve the answer if you like it, thanks! – Jérôme Verstrynge Aug 25 '14 at 17:27
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Excluding link juice, there might be some benefits if Google decides to display/priviledge dogs2 instead of dogs1 (remember that canonical is a recommendation, not an obligation) for your site in general, but not specifically for dogs1. To put in other words, there might be some indirect benefits for dogs1.

However, if you to spend time on optimizing some pages, it would be more efficient to optimize dogs1 and to remove dogs2 (with the help of a redirect if necessary).

  • My scenario is that I have a website and a mobile website. The mobile site is built with wordpress and I am using an SEO plugin which makes it very easy to optimize, so I was wondering should I even bother to optimize the mobile page – etangins Jul 21 '14 at 15:05
  • You would want to optimize the mobile page for speed, layout etc... because it would provide a better user experience and Google will notice it and serve your page more frequently. It would be a plus regarding SEO of the mobile page, and your site in general (but the plus for the canonical page would be marginal IMHO). – Jérôme Verstrynge Jul 21 '14 at 15:21
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I would suggest not doing this. This falls under the category of not specifically prohibited right now, but only until enough people start doing it. There's no reason to do this apart from trying to trick Google. Therefore: don't do it. If you do, it'll catch up with you eventually.

  • I think there's a misunderstanding. I'm referring to normal optimization like you would with any page, but for pages that have rel canonical – etangins Jul 21 '14 at 15:04

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