What is Canonical Tag and How It Helps in SEO?

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The word ‘canonical’ in the language of search engines, is the preferred version of a site’s URL that is given importance by all the major search engines.

The canonical tag is a little piece of code that place in the header of your web page along with your Meta tags.

A canonical tag would look like this – <link rel=”canonical” href=”https://www.domain.com/” />

What is the use of Canonical tags

Canonical tags serve as a guiding factor to divert the link popularity of web pages you would want to avoid, so preventing search engines from diluting popularity over duplicate content.

These tags are extensively used to elaborate the details about the versions of web pages that you want to index by the search engine.

Who recommends having Conical Tags?

Yahoo!, Live & Google announced that they will be supporting a new “canonical URL tag” to help webmasters and site owners eliminate self-created duplicate content in websites.

What is the disadvantage of duplicate content?

Sites suffer rankings and traffic loss, and search engines suffer lowered relevancy. Thus, in order to overcome these problems, search engines recommend the use of Canonical URLs.

When Should Use Canonical Tag?

SEOs suggest you have Canonical URL tags applied whenever any of the following scenarios arise:

WWW versus Non-WWW

Your website generates the share multiple links to go to the same page. Like https://www.example.com & https://example.com will lead to the same page

Pagination or Filtering

When there are multiple pages in a website that could have the similar content; i.e. either the products are similar but only differ by color or other options, or the pages are produced by different sort orders like “by price” or some other variable, that essentially produces the same content.

Tracking Codes or Session IDs

Many technologies require that you add a tracking variable on the end of URLs that either link to your site or link internally. The format is similar to

  • www.example.com?tracking-variable or might look like
  • www.example.com/example.htm?tracking-code

 

Here are some classic variations of the home page URL.

  • https://www.domain.com/
  • https://www.domain.com/home
  • https://www.domain.com/index.html
  • https://domain.com/
  • https://domain.com/index.html

 

With the canonical tag, you can specify your preferred version of a page’s URL. In the case of the home page, it should be https://www.domain.com/ or https://domain.com/, depending upon the version you choose to be your standard domain name.

Where should you place Canonical Tag?

You should place the canonical tag in the head section of a web page.

<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://www.domain.com/” />

Why should you use canonical tag?

These tags are meant to help Google and other search engines. It helps search engines to identify the preferred version of a web page which needs to index. Recent updates by Google have been helpful in increasing the importance of canonical tags, letting you know which website is a good source of information from among the pages that you may require to duplicate for displaying similar information at other destinations.

If all the canonical tags happen to refer only the main page of your website, then other inner pages would disappear from the search engine results. It is advisable to place canonical tags on a real canonical page.

Reputed seo services provider use these tags to help search engines control web page indexing. For example, if your website has printer friendly web pages then specify the ones that you want to index. It’s extremely helpful for eCommerce website in many situations.

Canonical tags are very helpful in generating maximum link popularity of a duplicate page by highlighting the original one from among all duplicates.