I created a drum machine to interface a rhythm database.

There are as many pages as stored rhythms, each with a friendly URL containing genre and rhythm name in it. Them all pages look almost identical, the only difference is on the rhythm details: genre, name, author, and accents pattern.

Most of the text of each page is duplicated, specifically I have a few modals for: the sounds collection, the rhythm list, the inline help and the about section. The rhythm list, in turn, is paginated. These are included on every page.

Considering all that explained above, I decided to set the root path as the canonical URL for all the other pages. I.e. only one title, no different titles for every rhythm's page. Am I right doing so? I think so.

The thing is, now I would like to include microdata with the WebApplication schema (http://www.schema.org/WebApplication) for the drum machine, maybe also with the MusicComposition schema for the rhythms, but only some rhythms (e.g. 15) are included in the root page when it first loads. The other rhythms would remain unknown because of the pagination (items are loaded with AJAX). How could I get all the rhythms catalogued?

Lastly, I have a doubt relating all this (in case I create a new page listing the rhythms): I have read that for paginated content, e.g. a post consisting of 3 parts, I should create a page containing all content together and set that page as canonical for the others. Now, canonical is a way to say "preferred" for indexing purposes but, what if I prefer the parted pages to be indexed, i.e. I don't want the aggregated page to be accessed, but any of the pieces.

1 Answer 1


Pages should only be canonical when the contents of the page are similar enough that users could be satisfied for either page. In your case, a user searching for "beatbox rhythm" would be disappointed if they instead got a page for "12 bar jazz rhythm". You should not use the canonical tag to make your site appear to be a single page to search engines. You have many pages and the content on those pages is substantially different from your users perspective.

Google may have trouble indexing your site. Search engines rely heavily on text content. Sites that have images, audio, video, calculators or other content without much text often have trouble getting many of their pages indexed.

You need a different page title for each page. In your case that would be a few words that names the rhythm on the page. To get additional text content onto the page that would make search engines happier you could:

  • Write longer descriptions for each rhythm
  • Allow users to comment on rhythms
  • There are a few problems with your suggestion: 1) very often, the users create rhythms with nonsense names, 2) descriptions are entered by users aswell, and cannot force them to make descriptions longer, 3) I want every page with a rhythm already loaded so new users can just click play and hear something before they get lost, so a page titled "RitmoDB - create, play and share rhythms" would not fit under this model. Appreciate your answer, but I would like to hear suggestions for the other option, namely the single page site. Thanks!
    – clapas
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 11:05

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