Canonical tags are not a novel concept. They have been around for the past 10 years, starting in 2009. Their goal is to provide website owners with a simple and quick solution to resolve duplicate content issues.
Yes, but only if you know how to put them to good use! If you want to know more about Canonical in SEO, read through this article!
What Is A Canonical URL?
Do you know what a canonical URL is?
Don’t worry, we got you covered. A canonical link element is an HTML element that specifies the “canonical” or “recommended” version of a web page to help webmasters avoid duplicate content difficulties in search engine optimization.
A canonical tag (rel=”canonical”) is a section of HTML code that specifies the main version of a page for duplicate, near-duplicate, and related pages. To put it another way, if you have the same or comparable content available under several URLs, you can use canonical tags to suggest which version is the most important and should be indexed.
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What Is The Use Of Canonical URL?
The use of canonical URLs is not limited. As we all know, duplicate content is frowned upon by Google. It makes it more difficult for them to make a decision.
- Which version of a page should be indexed (just one!)
- For relevant inquiries, which version of a page should be ranked.
- Whether “link equity” should be consolidated on a single page or distributed over different editions.
Duplicate content can affect your “crawl budget” as well. As a result, Google may spend time indexing many versions of the same page instead of finding other useful content on your site.
How Do I Find My Canonical URL?
A canonical link element, also known as a canonical tag, is a component of a webpage’s HTML header that informs search engines whether there is a more important version of the page. The rel=”canonical” tag is used for the canonical tag.
This piece of HTML code, for example, informs search engines that the URL “https://shoestore.org” refers to the original version of the page on which this tag appears:
The tag is significant because search engines crawl websites regularly to gather information to determine how to rank pages and articles. The search crawler has no idea how to rank two pages with the same content. It can’t decide which page should be ranked first; thus, the two pages eat each other’s ranking potential.
If you have two pages on your website with comparable material or content on your site that is also used on another site, you should create a canonical URL. A canonical tag can be used to direct Google to the original material and ensure that the initial piece receives full credit and SEO benefits.
How To Add Canonical Tag In HTML?
The easiest and most obvious way to provide a canonical tag in HTML is to use the rel=canonical tag.
Simply paste the following code into any duplicate page’s head section:
<link rel=“canonical” href=“https://shop.com/canonical-page/” />
Assume you have an eCommerce website that sells t-shirts. Even while the content of that page is accessible via other URLs (e.g., https://yourstore.com/offers/black-tshirts/), you want https://yourstore.com/tshirts/black-tshirts/ to be the canonical URL.
To make any duplicate pages canonical, simply add the following canonical tag:
<link rel=“canonical” href=“https://yourstore.com/tshirts/black-tshirts/” />
It is worth noting that if you’re using a CMS, you won’t have to meddle with your page’s code. There is a better way to do it and add a canonical tag to the URL.
How Do I Fix Canonical URL Issues In SEO?
It is simple to make mistakes with canonicalization, so it is a good idea to audit your website regularly for issues with canonical tags and address them as soon as possible.
1. Canonical URL Or A 301 Redirect?
When you change the URL of an already published post to a new URL, Growth Hackers provides automatic redirects for you (for example, in blog posts). However, deciding whether to use a 301 redirect or create a canonical URL might be difficult at times.
“If there are no technical reasons not to conduct a redirect, you should always do a redirect,” says Yoast SEO specialist Joost van Valk. Set a canonical URL if you can’t redirect because it will damage the user experience or be otherwise harmful.”
2. Don’t Just Toss Non-Canonical Versions Out The Window
When it comes to duplicating material, there is also the temptation to “clean up” by deleting or removing outdated posts, items, and so on. The issue here is that the content is occasionally linked to or referenced in other locations.
Someone may have saved a product on Pinterest, for example, and will no longer be able to access it if it is erased. Instead, redirect to the new website, product, or another resource that should be provided to potential buyers.
Only if a page was created in an accident, is highly new, or has very low traffic is it advisable to remove it completely without redirects.
3. Blocking Google From Crawling Specific URLs Is Not A Good Idea
You can use pages.txt to tell Google which pages it should allow and which it should ignore.
When it comes to duplicate material, though, this is an issue. This is because you are essentially telling Google not to look at a specific page, so Googlebot doesn’t crawl or index it at all.
As a result, any ranking signals that the page may have had (due to duplicate content) could have contributed to the source if it had been specified with a canonical URL. This means you’re missing out on interaction signals, content signals, and anything else that would have aided your Google ranking.
When it comes to duplicate material, don’t prevent Google from indexing specific URLs. This is taken care of by using proper canonical URLs, and Google will know which pages to look at.
Can Canonical URLs Be Relative?
Is it possible for the link to be relative or absolute? Although rel=”canonical” can be used with relative and absolute links, we recommend using absolute links to avoid potential ambiguity. Any relative links will be relative to the base link if your document specifies one.
We hope we have helped in understanding canonical URLs. Also, you can get a diverse idea about canonical links and rel canonical tags. Every website needs SEO, and canonical URLs can help search engines understand which URLs contain identical or substantially comparable content.
Canonical URLs can be a tricky concept to understand and a trickier concept to implement on your website if you’re new to SEO. This is where you can seek help from a top SEO Company having experience in your domain. That way, you know you’ll be in the right hands.