Should I use a rel canonical or a 301 redirect to move content to a separate site over to my main domain?
After solving the question regarding subdomain vs. subfolders in our previous blog post, we are going to describe the next-up experiment of MOZ on rel=canonical vs. 301s. If you are one of those who get stuck in this question – “Should I use a rel=canonical or a 301 redirect to move content to a separate site over to my main domain?”, you will feel pretty comfortable with your preferred choice after reading this blog post.
While considering 301 redirect, other site’s page “example.com/a “ can redirect to your site page example.com/a, and anyone (whether he is a visitor or search engine) who sends a request for the old page, gets the new page. On the other hand, if you apply rel=canonical to your website’s one page, and a visitor requests the old page,it will still allow him to access the old page. In terms of search engine’s preference over the both webpages, it will get the new version of the page (a page with rel=canonical), or it’ll fundamentallyconsiderthese both pages to be one and the same.
When it comes to the ranking factor of search engine, in both of these cases, rel=canonical helps you to retainthe branding or some unique aspect of something that occurs around your webpages, and it will still allow your visitors to go to that page, butthe search engines will prefer to rank the page with rel=canonical over your both pages (old one & new copied version of that one). Moreover, it is a great utilize for the cross-domain rel=canonical.
As per Digital Marketing Treands, we would like to recommend you to choose the one which is best for your users and what you wish them to still get. Your first priority should be your users & then consider search engines and what content you wish them to index, pass authority and link juice.