How To Use Canonical Tag with Practical Guidelines

How To Use Canonical Tag with Practical Guidelines

Canonical tags are old. They started in 2009. Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google created canonical tags in 2009. Canonical tags are still significant in today’s digital environment. Canonical tags may help your SEO efforts.

Many website owners neglect to use canonical tags. Insufficient knowledge of a canonical tag, its function, and how to apply it may explain this hesitation. I wanted to educate people about canonical tags. Also, I’ll provide you with some practical strategies for using canonical tags in your SEO approach.

What Is A Canonical Tag?

A canonical tag, also known as rel=canonical, deals with duplicate and preferred material. The term “canonical tag” may appear odd and out of place. However, etymologically, the name is fairly fitting. The term comes from the word “canon,” which originally meant “laws and regulations.”

In the past, it was used to describe a writer’s work that was viewed as genuine and unique. Canonical tags are just that in SEO. They inform search engines about the original pages. This eliminates redundant material. We frequently conceive of plagiarism as the purposeful copying of another’s work. That isn’t always the case. The software produces many URLs.

Let’s look at a few examples:

Country URL

When using numerous nation-specific URLs, a country URL is created. The material is the same in these circumstances, with just slight variations. This does not apply if the languages are different. In this situation, you want different results from the search engines.

Mobile URL

A mobile URL is formed when a unique URL is used to browse your website on a mobile device. This URL is commonly specified as m.mydomain.com for the mobile version.

Upper and Lower Case

Most browsers and users treat upper and lower cases the same. That is why the upper and lower case is mainly interchangeable. Search engines don’t always recognize this distinction between upper and lower case. A canonical tag is required if your website utilizes upper and lower case interchangeably in folders and filenames.

www, HTTPS, & HTTP

Search engines treat https://www.mydomain.com as a separate page from http://mydomain.com. As a result, search engines will likely crawl and index them.

Session ID URLs

Your system generates these URLs for you. Also, tracking URLs, printer-friendly versions, breadcrumb links, and permalinks are automated.

Multiple URLs

Multiple URLs are common on eCommerce sites. Filter choices produce these URLs. Filters include rating, color, and price.

PR/ Special Events

Even if it’s been published elsewhere, you may put it on your site. Canonical tags may span domains.

Why Is A Canonical Tag Necessary?

A canonical tag notifies search engines which URL is the master copy of a page. So utilize canonical tags when your unique content occurs in many URLs. Using a canonical tag prevents issues caused by duplicate or identical content appearing on a string of various URLs. This may assist your page in becoming crawled and indexed.

When Should A Canonical Tag Be Used?

The material isn’t duplicated when URLs are auto-generated. These are all the same URLs. However, using a canonical tag is critical when specific content exists on many URLs. This contains the scenarios above. True duplication happens when the material arrives across a series of distinct URLs.

Consider www.adomain.com vs. www.anotherdomain.com. Content syndication generates these unique URLs. In all of the following cases, a canonical tag should tell search engines what the original content is and where it should be crawled and indexed.

How To Use Canonical Tags

The first step in utilizing a canonical tag is to choose your desired URL. After that, add rel=canonical to your selected URL and any versions. Please note that both absolute and relative routes are valid.

The good news is that most CMSs already have canonical tags built-in or at least have plugins that automate the process. If you don’t utilize a CMS, search engines like Google have simplified managing these procedures. Among them:

  • Including HTTP headers via.htaccess and/or PHP.
  • Utilizing Google Website Tools to indicate how to deal with the URL’s parameters.
  • The usage of 301 redirects with discretion.

If your site serves the same content through HTTPS and HTTP, you may wish to designate a preferred domain using a 301 redirect or Search Console. This is true whether or not the www is included.

Common Canonical Tags Mistakes

Like every other part of SEO, appropriately implementing canonical tags is a complicated task. Incorrect use of canonical tags causes several errors. Here are some typical errors to avoid:

Preferred URL: Home Page

Unintentionally, but due to poor technological implementation, the homepage is routinely configured as the preferred URL site-wide. If all of your canonical tags go to your website’s home page, you risk having none of your pages scanned and indexed by search engines.

Instead of 301 Redirects, use Canonical Links.

On the surface, a canonical tag seems like a 301 redirect. But their measures aren’t the same. These tags and 301 redirects let search engines recognize multiple URLs as a single page. The main distinction is that a 301 redirect directs all visitors to one URL. Using a canonical tag keeps the website active and allows it to accept visitors, but Google does not index it.

If your site structure has changed, a 301 redirect is recommended. Because 301 redirects may ‘fix’ bookmarks. Utilizing a canonical tag is better for search engines if your site uses numerous URLs for the same page.

Featured Articles with Canonical Tags

Avoid the rel=canonical tag on a page with a frequently updated ‘featured product’ or ‘featured article.’ Including this tag (properly or incorrectly) might cause this page to be ignored. As a consequence, it was missing from search results.

Multiple Canonical Tags

Only one canonical tag per page. If a page has several canonical tags, the page will be disregarded. So search engines won’t crawl or index it, and it won’t appear in results. This may happen without your knowledge. This might be due to an SEO plugin gone away. A poorly modified template or theme might also be a problem.

Incorrectly putting Rel=Canonical

This is the same as using multiple canonical tags on a single page. Search engines will disregard the whole page if this canonical link appears outside of its allocated location. A canonical tag should be placed as early as feasible in your section. This is done to prevent parsing difficulties.

3 thoughts on “How To Use Canonical Tag with Practical Guidelines”

  1. Your article gave me a lot of inspiration, I hope you can explain your point of view in more detail, because I have some doubts, thank you.

    Reply
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