Amid the page quality there is not only the quality of what you write in a page, but also everything your page is made of, starting from the tag up to the last syllable.
Today, I go back on this concept again, because as webmasters or SEO we are responsible of everything it is published on the site (or a page). Therefore, it is our job ensuring the best customer experience possible.
Once again, I’d like to take Bing with me, as they published an interesting post regarding the differences between the redirect types where they also mentioned the rel=canonical tag usage.
You are probably asking what is the connection between the two and the page quality.
If you read again my introduction, you should probably be able to find out the answer.
A clean code speed-up your page and facilitate the indexation
However, I do appreciate the fact today there are so many “professionals” that do not fully understand these difference yet.
As there are so many posts and guidelines around, I am not going to spend more words on this. Bing blog explain the difference well.
What I would like to stress instead is some of their statements, which all relate to the rel=canonical and its misusage.
As Bing’s blog said, most of the time (and in particular on very large scaled web sites), webmaster or coder tend to use the rel=canonical as a placeholder even when not necessary, replicating the page name. This is essentially suggesting to the engine “this page is a copy of myself”, which is not required.
Interesting enough is the fact that Google ignore this kind of replication, but try to imagine this from a different angle.
A statement like this, it is unlikely to be short than 30 characters (on average). Now, sum up your 30 bytes to the overall page size and get your page load time increased by some fraction of second.
SEO is not a rocket science, and anything has been written in stone, so it will be hard to find big case studies on such a minor aspect. As optimizing a page implies everything it could make a difference for obtaining results, it is my opinion that fixing this small aspect benefits are not last to be seen.
I will try to make a test case if I can, and will post back the results of my finding on this blog as soon as I can.