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We have a discount deal website like Groupon. When we have a new deal contract with our old business owner we have to copy and paste the details from the last deal into a new webpage for the new deal.

Should we use rel=canonicalfor the last deal's webpage to point to the new deal's webpage to avoid duplicate content?

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See each deal in itself is a new content even though it belongs to the same business owner/ deal provider.

So rel = canonical should not be used.

If the same deal is changed / renewed, then it should ideally be done on the same page/ already existing deal page and you can enhance its visibility on site.

If a new page is still required for above case, then you should add a rel=canonical on old/similar deal to pass authenticity of that page to new one. Or if old one is not at all required and you want to pass all its SEO - juice to new one, then better would be to permanent(301) redirect from old to new.

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In your case, yes. If the deal content is not new & the the business owner is the same old one, better use rel=canonical.

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