Are you want to learn about canonical tags and how to use the canonical tag to avoid dreaded duplicate content issues? Then you are in the right place. I’m going to tell you everything I know about the canonical tag. I will hope that you will find this article helpful about the canonical tag.
The canonical tags link element was introduced by Google, Bing, and Yahoo! in February 2009.
So, without any further delay, let’s start to discuss the canonical tags and their importance.
A canonical tag (as known as rel=canonical) is the way to tell the search engines that a specific URL represents the main page. Using the canonical tag prevents problems caused by identical or “duplicate” content appearing on multiple URLs. It is the way of telling the search engines which version of a URL appears on the search result.
The canonical tags idea is simple. If you have several versions of the same content may be, page/post, then you can use the canonical tag to tell the search engines the preferred version. Just check the below code:
<link rel="canonical" href="https://startupsettings.com/" />
When you post duplicate content on the website then, the search engines can’t understand which content is original and what to index. Canonical tag clarify this and help the search engines understand the content. Using canonical tags is the best practice for SEO. There is no single doubt about that.
For better ranking and proper SEO, you have to add the canonical tag.
You can implement canonical tags quickly. Let’s discuss one by one.
Google’s John Mueller states that it’s best practice not to use relative paths with the rel=“canonical” link element.
You can use:
<link rel=“canonical” href=“https://example.com/sample-page/” />
<link rel=“canonical” href=“/sample-page/”/>
If you are switching http:// to https:// then check your canonical tags and update it to https://
You can use:
<link rel=“canonical” href=“https://example.com/sample-page/”/>
<link rel=“canonical” href=“http://example.com/sample-page/”/>
Use canonical tags a single time. If you put it multiple times then search engines also can ignore your page/post.
There are multiple ways you can add the canonical tag to your website. We will check it one by one.
You can easily add the canonical tag by “rel=canonical” in the HTML. Just add the below code to the <head> section of the website. Replace example.com with your website address.
<link rel=“canonical” href=“https://example.com/” />
If you are using WordPress with the Rank Math SEO plugin like me, then Rank Math will atomically add the canonical tag. Check the below image where you can check the canonical tag for your page/post.
You can also add the canonical tag in the header section for the file type like pdf. In this case, you can’t add the canonical tag in the section. Check the below code as a reference.
HTTP/1.1 200 OK Content-Type: application/pdf Link: <https://example/page/downlaod-pdf/>; rel="canonical"
You can use 301 redirects. With the help of 301 redirects, you can divert your traffic from duplicate content to the canonical version page.
Let’s check some Do and Don’t about the canonical tag.
Now we will check some questions and answers about the canonical tag.
Yes. you can add the canonical tag if you duplicate content. With the help of the canonical tag, you can highlight the main content to the search engines.
The answer is YES and I will highly recommend adding a canonical tag to your website.
You can add the canonical tag to the <head> section of your website/page.
We use the canonical tag for preventing duplicate content issues and rank better in the SERP. With the help of the canonical tag, you can tell the search engines about your original content.
Hi, I am Sandipan Pramanick from Kolkata, India
I am very glad that you are here and checked out my website. I am a professional Graphics, Web Designer and Passionate about SEO, Digital Marketing.
I am in this field around 5+ years. Currently, I am working in a private company as a SEO & Digital Marketing Executive, Asst. Graphics – Web Designer.