Canonical tags also known as rel=canonical, are the HTML elements that tell Search Engine which version of page should be considered as primary source.
If you’re looking to improve your website’s SEO, you may have listen about these tags. A canonical tag is an HTML element that tells search engines which version of a page should be considered the primary version. This is useful when you have multiple versions of a page with the same or similar content, as it helps to prevent duplicate content issues and consolidate link equity to a single page.
What Are Canonical Tag
Canonical tags, also known as rel=canonical tags, are HTML elements that tell search engines which version of a webpage should be considered the primary source of content. They are used to address duplicate content issues that arise when the same content appears on multiple web pages.
Why are Canonical Tags Important?
They are crucial for Search Engine Optimization because they help to avoid duplicate content issues, which can negatively impact your search engine rankings. When search engines detect duplicate content on your website, they may not know about which page to rank higher in search results. As a result, your website may be penalized, and your search engine rankings may suffer.
By using These tags, you can ensure that search engines only consider the main source of content, thus avoiding any duplicate content penalties. Additionally, These types of tags can help consolidate link equity, which is the value passed from one webpage to another through hyperlinks. By specifying a this URL, you can ensure that all link equity is consolidated on a single webpage, which can help improve your website’s search engine rankings.
Identify which pages need canonical tags
The first step in implementing These tags is to identify which pages on your website need them. You should only use These tags when you have multiple versions of the same or similar content. Some common scenarios where canonical tags are useful include:
- Print versions of pages
- Mobile versions of pages
- Different versions of the same page with different URLs (e.g. with or without www, with or without a trailing slash)
Choose the canonical URL
Once you’ve identified the pages that need these tags, you need to choose the canonical URL for each page. The canonical URL is the URL that you want search engines to consider the primary version of the page.
For example, if you have a page with two different URLs:
You would choose one of these URLs as the canonical URL, typically the one that is the most representative or easiest to remember. In this case, you might choose https://example.com/page.html as the canonical URL.
Add the canonical tag to the head section of the page
Once you’ve chosen the canonical URL for each page, you need to add This tag to the head section of the page. The canonical tag is an HTML element that looks like this:
<link rel="canonical" href="https://example.com/page.html">
Replace the href attribute with the This URL for the page.
If you’re using a content management system like WordPress or Drupal, you may be able to add these tags automatically using a plugin or module. Check the documentation for your CMS to see if this is an option.
Test your canonical tags
After you’ve added These tags to your pages, it’s a good idea to test them to make sure they’re working correctly. You can use the Fetch as Google tool in Google Search Console to see how Googlebot crawls your pages and which canonical URLs it identifies.
You can also use tools like Screaming Frog or SEMrush to crawl your website and check for any pages that are missing these tags or have incorrect canonical URLs.
Canonical tags are an important tool for managing duplicate content and consolidating link equity to a single page. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that your website is using these tags correctly and avoid any SEO issues related to duplicate content.