Canonical URL

Understand more about Canonical URL and how it is to be used for proper SEO of your site.

What is a Canonical URL?

The link element rel=” canonical,” often known as the canonical URL, is an HTML element that informs search engines to prefer one document above other identical or similar documents.

When page A contains a canonical link element that refers to page B, it is said that page A has been canonicalized.

Canonicalization refers to the process of selecting a favored version of a page over several alternative versions.

Canonical URL

Why use canonical URLs for SEO?

01. Specify the Canonical URL that should be displayed in search results.

Canonical tags are used to identify the URL that you want search engines to rank. As a result, Google displays the original page rather than one of the derivative pages.

When you have duplicate or almost identical pages on your site, the individual URLs may receive backlinks from external sources.

03. Syndicated Content Management

It is not ordinary for information to be syndicated over multiple websites in order to reach new audiences.

How to set up Canonical Tags?

01. With the rel=canonical HTTP header

A canonical tag, like the link> tag, can be placed in your HTTP header. Because the link> tag metadata only works for HTML pages, this can be handy for identifying any non-HTML content on your website, such as PDFs.

02. With a 301 Redirect

A 301 redirect is used to permanently redirect one URL to another. These inform Google bots and other search engine indexing systems that the URL being transmitted is the canonical version.

The rel=”canonical” link> tag is one of the more prevalent ways to use canonical tags. This adds metadata to the page header and indicates which URL should be used as the canonical address

Best Practices For Canonical URLs

Make use of self-referencing canonical tags.

Canonical tags that point to themselves are known as self-referencing canonical tags.

Non-canonical URLs should be excluded from your sitemap.

Google advises against including non-canonical URLs in your sitemap since it considers these URLs to be proposed canonicals.

Don’t make 404s canonical URLs.

When a website or resource cannot be found, the browser returns a 404 status code. This is frequently due to the page being deleted or taken down.

Avoid Using Mixed Messaging

If a search engine receives mixed messaging, it may interpret a canonical tag improperly. For example, don’t canonicalize page A to page B and then page B to page A.

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