Lazy loaded reference fallback page metadata and backlinking should be set so that we avoid unnecessary concentrations of references-only pages in search engine listings and we furthermore provide users a way back to the main article in case someone did share a references-only page URL to the user.
In the mean time we can do the following things
- Add a link to page back to the originating page
- Remove the <link rel="canonical"... element from the output.
- Change the indexing policy to <meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow"/>
When mobile pages are indexed by search engines and when you do a search on mobile, the result can end up linking to the mobile version of the site.
How it works today
I as a student have literature about a subject that I want to know more about. I do a a search on a popular search engine for the title of the book, one of the first results links to a Wikipedia article that has that book as a reference. What's cool about that is that I immediately gets more information about the subject, where the book is a reference.
How it will work
When a user lands on a reference page instead of the article, it's important to make it easy and clear for the user that these are the references for a specific article.
Based on initial discussion with a search engine contact, the initial plan of trialing this solution is the right way to go in order to look at search engine result sets and traffic.