WARNING: Medium canonical links don't prevent search engine indexing

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  1. RonElFran profile image95
    RonElFranposted 2 years ago

    It's been said that HP articles can be reposted to Medium without being flagged as duplicate content by setting a canonical link on the Medium post. This is supposed to keep the Medium post from being indexed by Google, Bing, etc.

    I put one of my HP articles on Medium and set the canonical link to point back to the HP original. I just found that the Medium article is indeed indexed by Google. I double-checked to be sure the canonical link is still in effect on Medium. It is, but the article is indexed anyway. What's worse, the Medium article is ranked ahead of my HP original for text quoted from the articles.

    And there's more. The same day the Medium post went live, it was immediately copied by two different sites at the .ng (Nigeria) domain. Of course, even if setting the canonical link did prevent indexing, these pirated copies wouldn't have the canonical link set--their very purpose is to get Google traffic for those sites.

    So, if you post HP articles to Medium, even if you set the canonical link, expect them to be indexed and competing with your HP original in the SERPs.

    1. eugbug profile image95
      eugbugposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I checked some of the links to my stories and the URLs are indexed, but when I search for their titles, or phrases from them, they don't seem to appear in searches.

      1. theraggededge profile image95
        theraggededgeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I usually change the titles, update the text and give it a good grammatical going over.

  2. theraggededge profile image95
    theraggededgeposted 2 years ago

    Good to know, Ron. Thank you.

  3. RonElFran profile image95
    RonElFranposted 2 years ago

    In light of what I posted about my Medium article with canonical link showing up in Google anyway, I've tried to get more understanding of how canonical links work. (Here's a link to a Whiteboard Friday video about it: https://moz.com/blog/cross-domain-rel-c … ed-content ).

    The way I understand it now is that the canonical link may not prevent search engine indexing, but it does ensure that all the SEO advantages go back to the original post when someone accesses the copy.

    If that's accurate, the only disadvantage would be that if someone views a copy on another site with a canonical link pointing back to an HP original, I assume HP doesn't give us credit for that view.

    If anyone has a better understanding, please share it!


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