[whatwg] Adding "canonical" to the list of allowed link types

Aryeh Gregor Simetrical+w3c at gmail.com
Tue Jul 14 11:16:50 PDT 2009

On Mon, Jul 13, 2009 at 11:05 PM, James Ide<ide at berkeley.edu> wrote:
> Currently rel="canonical"
> (http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/02/specify-your-canonical.html)
> is not in the allowed set of link types listed at
> http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#linkTypes . Looking back
> through archived posts, it seems that it was once briefly mentioned in
> passing but there was no discussion regarding its addition to the spec.
> Considering its usefulness, are there plans to add "canonical" to the
> official list of accepted values?

I'd support this.  There are many cases with web apps when you want to
present slightly different versions of the same content, where the
differences are convenient to regular users but immaterial to
first-time users, such that search engines should treat them
interchangeably or present a single canonical version to new visitors
rather than treating them as separate pages.  In principle you might
think search engines could figure this out themselves heuristically,
but the three biggest have apparently decided they could use some
help, so it seems like a valuable feature.

Of course, the way the new value was developed and introduced was
certainly not ideal.  But the same is true for a lot of the things
that go into the HTML 5 spec.

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