301 Redirect or Canonical? Follow the Right Direction
301 Direct pages and the “=canonical” attribute are the two main methods of managing the redirection of a single page. These are useful in preventing Google from reading content on your page as duplicate, which can lead you to get kicked off or down on the SERPS.
So what’s the difference between the two and when would you use them?
Consider Bob’s situation. Bob just revamped his pool supply company website and made a brand new “Contact Us” page. Therefore, he wants the search engines to know that his old contact page is no longer there and to remove it from their index and to now only pass credit to the new contact page.
To make this happen, Bob would utilize the 301 HTTP status code, which manages the permanent redirection of a page. By implementing this command, Bob’s new “Contact Us” page will eventually acquire the majority of the original page’s link authority.
On the other hand, if Bob has a list of pool services and uses two pages to list them (one to list in order of prices and the other to list alphabetically), he would use rel=”canonical”. Although both have the same content, the duplicity is necessary for Bob’s business. Without entering the canonical code, Google would index both and choose which one it believed was most relevant. The other page would be filtered and would not appear in the SERPS. Therefore, using rel=”canonical” tells the search engines that you know the content appears similar to them, but that they should allow both pages to show up on SERPS.
Want to learn more about 301 page redirects and canonical status codes? Check out this article!