A Few SEO Questions

Just had some questions that Amazon support couldn't answer for me in regards to the SEO, specifically the URL of your product.

I understand the canonical URL is what usually ranks in Google (that's what's happening with my product) and that it can change based on the title of your product. I read a guide somewhere, not sure if it was here, to play around with the title of your product until the keyword you want shows up in the URL. Now my question is in regards to how this is handled internally by Amazon.

1.) Does Amazon redirect the old canonical url to the new one?

Basically, here's what I'm trying to do. Google has already indexed my canonical URL for this product. I wanted to get some links for it, but I'm considering changing the title of the product, not only to try and have the URL contain the keyword but to also add a few more into my title. So here's what I'm worried about down the line. Say I build a few links to this URL, and then change my title down the road, will all these links be rendered useless then? Or does Amazon do a 301 to the new canonical URL internally? It almost seems that once you have a title for your product you have to stick to it forever or your off site rankings could be affected down the line.

In that case...

2.) Is it viable then to link to just the non-keyword ASIN URL? That page always shows the canonical URL in the source, so if the canonical URL changes, it will be reflected on this page. And it seems Google will always index the canonical URL, not the ASIN only URL - correct me if I'm wrong here please.

Having written all this down another thought popped into my head. Here's a theoretical scenario:

Say you were going to do an aggressive SEO campaign - which URL would you link to? Directly to the canonical or the ASIN page?

If you were to get penalized, would your whole ASIN get penalized, just the canonical, or just the ASIN page?

I know that's a lot of questions, but I'm just trying to put it all together. Any help much appreciated, thanks :)
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Comments

  • A lot of what you're asking is hard to know for sure but I can give you some additional insight into what's likely to happen and be best.

    1. If Amazon changes the URL for a product, based on say a Title change for that product, they will probably implement a 301 redirect as that will pass 95% of the 'link juice' through to the new URL. Amazon wouldn't want to just leave a page with links pointing to it hanging out there and broken, they want to maintain link juice and product page rankings.

    2. Yes Google will only index the canonical URL as that tag tells Google to ignore the page with the canonical tag and instead index the page in the canonical URL tag. It's very possible then that Google will also pass through the link juice from the canonicalized page to the page in the canonical tag but hard to know for sure as Google doesn't make it clear and there are opposing views in the SEO community.

    To be safe any link building efforts should be directed directly to the URL in the canonical tag.

    If you're concerned that certain links will get you penalized, you shouldn't be building those links period because you're probably right, Google will figure out if you're doing anything sketchy on the link front.

    Either way though, if link juice is passed from the ASIN page then the canonical URL will receive that penalty, if link juice is not passed from the ASIN page then the links will be meaningless anyway.

    Hope that helps!
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