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When I search "Javascript Compressor Obfuscator" in Google I get the following result first:

Best javascript compressor/compiler/obfuscator?

Much further down I get the canonical (not duplicate)

How can I obfuscate (protect) JavaScript?

Bing correctly handles this situation, but I imagine S.O. gets special treatment for that. There ought to be a way to make sure the right questions show up first.

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  • There may not be a way to influence this - short of banning closed questions from the index altogether.
    – Pekka
    Aug 7, 2013 at 15:10
  • Right, but that's not desirable, bc some closed questions have some useful info. Aug 7, 2013 at 15:13
  • there must be a way to kill your SEO rating. Isn't there? Like, generating the content from javascript, messing up the meta keywords.. Aug 7, 2013 at 15:13
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    noindex could be added on a per-page basis, perhaps based on the close reason and the score of the question and answers. Aug 7, 2013 at 15:16
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    Bad solution. We want duplicate questions to be indexed by search engines. If there is any value in keeping them around, it's as pointers to the other master question. @george
    – Cody Gray
    Aug 7, 2013 at 15:18
  • @Cody I agree in the case of duplicates for the many reasons given here, but is it worth considering for other close reasons? Aug 7, 2013 at 15:19
  • At the point we don't want them indexed by a search engine, why don't we just delete them?
    – Cody Gray
    Aug 7, 2013 at 15:19
  • @Cody That may be a solution in many cases, but we have to consider factors such as breaking internal links and the negative effect on accounts which have closed questions. I wouldn't want to see an effort to delete questions just for the sake of clean Google results when the other delete criteria are not met. Aug 7, 2013 at 15:23

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@Cody Gray alluded to this, but I think the right answer is: you don't need the canonical question to be first in results because duplicate questions have a link at the top to the canonical question. The questions aren't strictly duplicates in the SEO sense anyway. Even questions closed put on hold as 'duplicate' can be useful to future users, so we want that content to be discoverable. We just want to make sure the people reading the duplicate questions get the right answer, and so we put it on hold as duplicate and link it to the canonical question which has the canonical answer.

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  • Could we maybe use a <link rel="canonical"> in unanswered duplicates? Might help in the case of a question being repeatedly asked because no one version gets enough Google juice to rise to the top of the results. Aug 7, 2013 at 15:32
  • @BillyMailman: do you have an example of any questions that have this problem? Aug 7, 2013 at 15:40
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    Offhand, no, and I don't know what it would take to even identify such a thing, but I have seen some questions get duplicated several times, often by people new to stackexchange, and wonder if this might help out. Also, it's part of Google's official recommendations to use it to specify a canonical version of pages with similar content. Then again, duplicate questions may not be sufficiently similar for it anyway. Aug 7, 2013 at 15:46
  • @BillyMailman: yeah, I looked into the rel="canonical" thing as well, and I just don't know that it's the right thing here. It might not even be effective because the text of the pages would be so different (answers, usernames, comments, body of the question, etc) (cf: googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2013/04/…) Aug 7, 2013 at 15:50
  • Yeah, the whole thing was just a stray thought, or I'd have made it into a separate question. Seems like there really should be something along the rel="canonical" lines for stuff like this, and I can't see it doing harm on unanswered duplicates if they accepted it, but I guess SE is a bit unique in having something like that. Ah, well. Aug 7, 2013 at 15:55

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