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Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Collaborate to Clean ­p Web

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Yahoo! and Microsoft announced that they will support Google's technology for detecting duplicate pages on Web sites. Web publishers will be able to use Google's new Web standard, dubbed the Canonical Link Tag, to find the principal URL that search engines should be indexing. Companies doing business online sometimes have large sites with multiple URLs that all point to the same page, which can be confusing to search engines and can cause them to index the same page multiple times. Some experts believe up to 20 percent of URLs may be duplicates.

"There is a lot of clutter on the Web and with this, publishers will be able to clean up a lot of junk," says Matt Cutts, an engineer who heads the spam-fighting efforts at Google.

"This is a clear benefit for publishers as it gives them an opportunity to get more exposure through search engines," says Microsoft's Nathan Buggia. Most search engines have technology to sort out duplicates, but Google's standard will make it easier for both publishers and search engines to address the problem.

From The New York Times
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