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Setting SEO Straight
Excellent post here with my notes. Agree with 6 out of 7, but would love to have +Mark Traphagen's take on #7 (that Google Authorship doesn't impact #SEO yet). 
Here are 7 common misconceptions some have about search engine optimization. Via malek
Mark Traphagen's profile photoMartin W. Smith's profile photoTom George's profile photo
Great post. And yes, I agree with -#7 since it is what I say all the time. No evidence yet that Authorship is a ranking factor, but plenty of other very good reasons to use it. 
I wanted to mention the canonical URL. I am seeing a big misconception about when to use it.
Canonicals can be tough. We used them to protect the use of dupe content. We had one product that was 50% of our bottom line so we wanted it everywhere. "Everywhere" without Canonicals can create dupe content problems so we "canonicalized" the master landing page and so could "dupe" the content without penalty.

Canonicals can be tricky because one slip and you've opened yourself up. Eventually we took further action such as restricting categorization (to one category) and putting our "SALE" section into Robots.txt to keep the spiders out.

This "belts" and "suspenders" approach plugs potential dupe penalties and treats the content in the way Google wants (credit to the most dominant use) while working around those limitations for catalog merchandising (i.e. the need to dupe important content).

Had I do do things over I probably would have rewritten every "duped" instance with aenough new content, something that may not be possible in a 50,000 or 1000,000 SKU website.
That last strategy you mention would seem to be ideal these days +Martin W. Smith, but as you note tough to do for a large catalog 
I am really surprised at how many people think that the canonical can be used from one website to another and are not understanding it's for one website to avoid duplicate content issues. What you mentioned here +Martin W. Smith would be a enormous undertaking for sure. So that's one misconception cleared up about how and when to use the canonical  
That's right +Tom George and thanks for all the RT love btw and good to talk to you again (been a bit). There is no effective "canonical" protection between sites. When I must dupe between sites I do three things:

* Write about half new content. This muddies the water sufficiently.
* Change the image support and image alt text.
* Quote OUT the dupe (use block quote command and a reference URL that is no follow if needed).

I never just change image alt alone as that isn't sufficient, but any combination of 1 and 3 work pretty good AND I never "have to dupe" so much that I can tip the math against me. For a bit I was using's embed and then thought better of it.

It is probably fine, but scares me suffiently I don't use it anymore since it moves content from directly into my WP blog AS IS. Could argue there is enough wrapper difference, but who wants to trust that these post-panda days.

Panda's pattern recognition is so good, so fast why risk it? Google can do a few things with dupe content. If they see a consistent pattern they will split the PageRank between the uses of the content.

This is where author tags can protect. Used to be if someone copied your content hook, line and sinker they could get credit for your content (if they had the higher PR) or cause your rank to get divided. Author tagging protects from that because Google can identify the publisher vs. the copy.

If Google sees a consistent pattern they can penalize the site as a whole (been there, done that and NEVER want to play that game again). +Mark Traphagen is right, these days when in doubt write new, better  content.

The last point I would make is when you do dupe content strip out social shares. I would strip social shares EXCEPT when writing enough new content that the new post is really NEW.

If I'm duping because it is unavoidable I might no follow the link, strip social shares and otherwise make sure I can't benefit from the dupe. "Not benefiting from the dupe" is what canonicalization is all about, but NO there is no canonical protection BETWEEN websites.
This is why +Martin W. Smith I think it best to have your post sent elsewhere to another wordpress site. I will elaborate on that with you in a PM. By the way it has been a minute since we have spoke, so great to reconnect. Thank you for this thread it's rocking. I am wondering now about syndication sites that republish your articles. I am starting to wonder also if the duplicate content only really pertains to one WEBSITE. Who would they penalize if you had one amazing article that was published on 15 syndication sites? I am not conviced about a duplicate content penalty in that context. What do you think?
+Tom George Yes I had this same question and then discovered most reputable syndicate houses are providing "no follow" content so its only value is engagement NOT #SEO . This is the only way content can be syndicated without a lightening bolt from Google.

When content is syndicated those doing the syndication surround it with "no follow" tags and when you license it you agree to leave those "no spider allowed" tags in. I wrote a post several years ago about how feeds were in all of our futures because it seemed like the smart curation move was to grab every piece of related content.

Then Panda happened and not so much anymore.

Feeds can help create engagement, but syndication usually means NO FOLLOW content. If anyone tries to sell you, me and others anything BUT no follow content RUN. Marty
That makes sense +Martin W. Smith thanks for your help today. I will PM you my message about posts. Great to reconnect and thanks again for the tips.
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