Canonical tags and Social sharing – new behaviour spotted

by | May 11, 2011

2 min read

Canonical URLs now used by Addthis for Twitter and Facebook shares

A recent discussion on SEOmoz shows that Addthis, Facebook and Twitter are now using the canonical target of any page shared using those services.
has canonical tags pointing to:
The page appearing on your tweet, facebook share or Addthis share will actually be the canonical URL (SEO page)
Here is the live test
On Twitter itself
No effect
Using Addthis button
Url shared shows new canonical targets

New social sharing behaviour – effects on SEO

  1. Ensure proper placement of canonical tags
    1. In session parameters become better than URL parameters as it defeat the purpose of specific page sharing
    2. Do not create specific page just to target different sets of keywords generated by search results. You will end up with duplicate content issue
  2. Canonical tags are no longer just for Search Engine bots
  3. Ensure your SEO pages convert as well as your non canonical pages
  4. If your business works a lot with social media and sharing
    1. Consider how this could affect conversion allocation*
    2. Consider first touch channel vs last touch channel

*: I worked for a client who had separate pages for its Paid Search, Meta search, Direct and SEO traffic. Those 3 pages converted all at different rate but all of them served a different audience/purpose.
By redirecting potential traffic to the wrong page you might lose on valuable, targeted and engage traffic. Ensure your SEO pages are a key focus in your Conversion Rate Optimisation campaign.


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