One SEO professional was curious about canonicals and how they play into robots.txt.
Their situation is they have no landing pages for an ads campaign. A part of the SEM team’s content was taken by products or service pages.
For these particular landing pages, is it the correct procedure to add a canonical tag? That way, they can tell Google that the canonical pages are different.
Their main question is, can you shift the order of influence to certain types of pages, by using the canonical on that page, to help the page rank better?
John explained that yes, you can do that. However, it also depends on how you setup the ads landing pages.
If they’re blocked by robots.txt, then Google will never see the canonical. So, make sure that your robots.txt still allows for Google to crawl the page and so they actually see it.
This happens at approximately the 4:54 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
SEO Professional 1 4:54
Okay, so one last question. Let’s say we have no landing pages for the ads campaign, right? There is the SEM team who does a lot of landing pages they wanted. So a part of their content has been taken by, let’s say, our products or your services pages.
However, what we feel is— since it’s the landing pages, and it’s kind of—might have some kind of presence only online, so the news publishers, or any kind of authors, or bloggers, you know, may write about those things. And they directly link from their page to our pages.
So is it right to add a canonical tag of that particular landing page, which is like an ad campaign of the product or the services? Because in that way, can I tell Google the links or the influence that you are getting for this particular page, the canonical has been different?
So the canonical is the My Product page, however, so can you just shift the order of influence to the product pages and the canonical has been changed of that particular landing page and, you know, just help my page a little bit rank better? I know the link that does not matter, as you said, a million times on Twitter, but since you know, there can be the influence shift can be done.
Yeah, sure. You can definitely do that. I mean, it depends a bit on how you set up the ads landing pages. Obviously, if they’re, they’re blocked by robots. txt, then the canonical, we will never see that.
But if they’re crawlable, if they’re otherwise indexable, and you have the rel=canonical to your preferred version, that’s perfectly fine.