We all know that Google has a set of guidelines/rules which all webmasters should follow to have a friendly relationship with the search engine as well as users.
Have you thought about -
“Is Google itself following the guidelines?”
The answer is somewhat Yes because I have seen Google using rel=canonical tag element in Google’s very own product BLOGGER. For BlogSpot, Google make use of the canonical tag for country based domains to let know search engines that TLD (usually .com) is the original one.
For example Google has put a
<link href=’http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/‘ rel=’canonical’/>
for http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.in indicating that the one with .com is the Original.
Crossing the guidelines – Is it Google maps or Google Local?
Lets see Google Map – http://maps.google.com/
Google Local - http://local.google.com/ ??
Both of these provide us same result which means the biggest issue “DUPLICATE CONTENT” (different urls having same content) according to search engines. When I googled for “local.google.com” Google told me “Don’t get confused it’s the Google maps what you are looking for” and showed it in the search results.
Checkout what Bing searched
Web cache of local.google.com returned the cache of map.google.com
If Google want to continue Google Local they should have put a rel=canonical tag indicating maps.google.com is to be originally followed. I didn’t find any canonical tag in it.
But in this case I will recommend a 301 to Google maps thus redirecting users who land on local.google.com to maps. I couldn’t find any of these used in it. I consulted the issue with my SEO Buddy Nikhilraj who tried to help me with the problem.
As Danny Sullivan said “Google is smart in cases when 301 or canonical isn’t provide”
Google act smart only in cases of their own domains only?? Is some guidelines not applicable to Big Branded Giants??