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I manage an e-commerce website that has both a landing page (designed to 'sell' the product/convince an upper-funnel customer to purchase) and a product page (obviously where you actually buy the product). Should one of them use the canonical tag?

There is very minimal content overlap between the two pages so I'm not as concerned about duplicate content in the classic sense of the term. However, I'm not sure if Google would divide authority between the two and therefore rank neither particularly high in organic SERPS.

They both rank at top of page 2 for a very important generic search. I'm wondering how to get at least one of them to page 1!

Thoughts?

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The purpose of the canonical tag is to prevent that search engines consider the same page as two separate pages when using different URLS. For example:

  • www.mysite.com/page/?ref=ad_platform1
  • www.mysite.com/page/?ref=ad_platform2

The ref parameter is used for analytics only. Without a canonical tag this could cause the search engine to to distribute ranking by this two URLS and even penalize your site for duplicate content.

Having the canonical tag in just one of the two pages serves no practical purpose.

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Canonical tags should be used on pages that have the exact, or very similar content. They are used to tell Google you realise you have two duplicate pages, but only count one.

You shouldn't use them on pages where you are just trying to shift over relevancy, if they don't have very similar content, the tag may be ignored altogether.

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