What Is A Canonical Tag And Why Is It Important

canonical tags

The canonical tag assists search engines in determining which website pages are unique and which are duplicates. This helps in establishing a proper authority, as well as ranking for your original content without penalizing your website for pages that have been duplicated somewhere else. The canonical is inserted in the < head>  section of both the original page and also on the content which has been duplicated.

The Importance of canonical tags

Although duplicated content must be avoided as a rule of thumb, there are rare occasions where it might be beneficial.  One example where duplicate content is deemed useful is when you are doing content syndication.

This entails promoting portions of your published material on other website pages also to help drive additional traffic back to the initial site. The canonical tag can help Google understand that the second page is a copy and tell it that the first page is the original. If you fail to use the canonical tag, there is a likelihood that Google and other search engines will penalize the site where the content is posted.

It’s also good to understand that lots of copied content on your website has a negative effect on your crawl budget. This means that  Google crawlers may waste a lot of time in crawling many of the duplicated pages instead of trying to discover other unique pages that exist on your website.

The basics of canonical tag implementation

 Implementing canonicals is easy and there are four ways that you can use to achieve this. No matter the method that you choose to use for your implementation, here are 5 golden rules that you must remember all the time.

1. Use absolute URLs

 Make sure that you do not use relative paths that include rel=“canonical” link element.

So you should  opt to use the following structure: <link rel=“canonical” href=“https://example.com/sample-page/” />

Instead of this: <link rel=“canonical” href=”/sample-page/” />

2. Use lowercase URLs

 Make sure you use lowercase when spelling your URLs since when a   similar URL is spelled in both uppercase and lowercase, Google may treat them as two different things.

3. Use the right domain version (HTTPS vs. HTTP)

If you have  SSL, make sure you declare that HTTP URL in your canonical tag. Use the below version of your URL when you are on a  secure platform. <link rel=“canonical” href=“https://example.com/sample-page/” />

This isn’t  what you  should  do: <link rel=“canonical” href=“http://example.com/sample-page/” />SIDENOTE.

4: Use self-reference canonical tags

This assists the search engines in determining the website pages that will need to be indexed.

5. Use a single canonical tag for  every page

If there are two or more on the same page, Google will ignore them all.

SEO Assistance is a  top search engine optimization agency that helps businesses, individuals, and others who own websites to rank in search engines. It’s a  complete   SEO  agency that you can expect to provide you with world-class service when you hire them to develop and implement an SEO strategy for you.



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