Google: canonicals in Sitemaps are less powerful

Some websites use Sitemaps to show Google the canonical versions of their web pages. Google’s has updated the official page about canonicals and they say that Sitemap canonicals are ‘less powerful’.

“Cons of Sitemap canonicals:

  • Googlebot still must determine the associated duplicate for any canonicals that you declare in the sitemap.
  • Less powerful signal to Googlebot than the rel=canonical mapping technique. […]

We don’t guarantee that we’ll consider the sitemap URLs to be canonical, but it is a simple way of defining canonicals for a large site, and sitemaps are a useful way to tell Google which pages you consider most important on your site.”

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Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at "".