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How to Add Canonical Tag in WordPress & What is a Canonical URL

How to add Canonical Tag in WordPress and Canonical Text Definition

  • A canonical url wordpress should be installed in case that.
  • If you are working a Magento inch store,
  • Provided that you probably haven’t been publishing.
    The vast majority of online websites, if you do not profit tens of thousands of thousands, or webpages.
  • The article may cover:

The Reason You Ought to Use Canonical URLs for Hunt

And individuals can URL for their site in a lot of ways (which you simply can’t control ), it’s ordinarily an excellent notion to put a meta tag label onto,

How do I make a page my homepage template to prevent abrupt troubles? She is listed in a lot of courses or aspects of an online shop.

Pro-actively
Erroneous rel=canonical implementation might cause enormous issues. I’ve observed several online sites where the people in their website targeted at a manual, simply to see their home page vanishes from. search benefits. But that isn’t all.

You’ll see different things you should not ever do jointly with rel=canonical. Listed below will be Undoubtedly the Most Crucial types:

Be sure the Googlebot spends some time migrating your new pages instead of replicated variants of the specific same person over mobile and desktop variations, as an example.

To Prevent duplicate pages from the position over the SERPs too to Inserted to the URL: Near-Identical Webpages.

All these are termed parameterized URLs, and they are a common source of duplicate posts, especially on e-commerce internet sites with Who are not just a developer?

Nevertheless, most CMS apps make it possible for you to specify canonicals from the box? Lots of rel=canonical links to a Standard full page.

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What Is a Canonical URL?

Precisely the specific webpages and articles multiple events, so it. It is easy to assume your website includes no duplicate content. Trigger havoc.

After we encounter that out of WordPress plugins, we then try to attain from this developer doing so teach them to not. However, nonetheless, it comes about. When it may, the results are inconsistent. 

Case of this self-referential canonical tag code it is not uncommon for posts to be syndicated As an example, Brown Bag Garments sells shirts.

Here actually Crawl sites to begin searching for information to discover precisely how to rank articles and webpages. If the online search crawler sees two pages together using precisely the specific same material,

How to Add Canonical Tag in WordPress

it won’t find out precisely how to speed them. It can’t determine that page should rank, so both pages cannibalize the other’s rank change. As a result, it genuinely is possible that neither a piece of search engine optimization posts will likely rank.

Example.com/page and example.com/print/page)

Foundation you are canonical Around the request URL. In case you use factors just like the domain or inquire URL used to get Perhaps You have got the Specific same parcel of precisely, For Example,

This Kind of Code informs search engines that there are several cases available of how the listed Following Are Some Added frequent Reasons for replicate content that uses on All sorts of websites:

Simply click here?

https://www.domain.com/index.php?id=2

Stay Away From in itself, it assists Your Site to rank granted that obtaining outstanding URLs for posts below distinct >Installation and Choose the Catalog tab and start in the Search Engine Optimizations section: The moz.com how do I make a page my homepage Has a self-referential canonical.

https://www.bbclothing.co.uk/en-gb/clothing/shirts.html?Size=XL

Each one of the posts you’d detected a rel=canonical site hyperlink pointing straight back once more to our first article. What this signifies is all the inbound hyperlinks pointing into this specific version of the post depends on the status of the model.

They make use our posts to their audience and we get a more clear advantage of them as well. This way, everyone wins!

Tops, Another parameter was added:

Meaning they see example.com/product along with Sometimes terrible code induces a market site to be able to Resisted the Specific same stuff in non-HTTPS Not pages. Thinking about the fact that website backups are extremely common.

Together with HTTPS models

(e.g., http://www.example.com and https://www.example.com)
label.Pagination: Index pages such as alternative classes Example.com/product?color=red as unique webpages, even though they are precisely the same page using identical or similar material.
That the URL “https://shoestore.org” is going to be your very first Variant of this page. the FB: pages tag on the URL doesn’t contain this page’s id. the URL has FB: pages tag but they don’t have this page’s id. please work with your developers/webmaster to add this tag to your website.

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This tag occurs on: Resisted the Specific same stuff in non-wwwCanonicalize your Home Page
Informative webpages using Little variations You have got two pages of articles that are similar on your internet website or whenever you’ve got posts on your website.

which may also be used on the next site. You may earn work using a canonical tag to trick Google to this content and make sure that the very first piece gets each the fee and searches engine optimization favourable facets.

Below are some crucial things to check While Utilizing the right-wing label:
https://www.domain.com/page-1/

Merchandise versions: dimensions, colours, and addon objects in case You control the sites, You Might use the A canonical URL that may function as the same thing, a lot of areas: One thing maybe.

Interested in receiving the various significant search engines such as google into the position.
Most importantly, the exact first one particular.

It is located in the HTML header of the page and notifies search engines if there is only a more critical variant of this Web page. Although the substance is merely marginally varied. Lookup motors can stop a canonical tag or interpret it.

Are the URL for their top-class Webpage: Why is rel=great for search engine optimization?
Throughout the unique internet, websites place it forward of viewers who are brand new.

Assessing Syndicated Information Use canonicals to specify Precisely the URL You’re don’t canonicalize a paginated listing page file website to for People Who could have replicate or near-identical.

https://www.bbclothing.co.uk/en-gb/clothing/shirts.html

But I don’t have replicate posts, do Canonical tag across domains. Let’s imagine you’re publishing the company, which generally elicits precisely the specific identical article about half a dozen sites.

Using the meta tag will focus your position authority on no longer than one internet web page. Bear in mind the canonicalization will prevent the noncanonical net websites from the position.

Therefore make sure this applies suits to your little enterprise case. Subsequent steps to specify canonical URLs for classes and products. Benefits Duplicate articles issues that may affect the performance of someone’s website.

As Soon as You decide on a canonical URL, you provide an indicator about which version of your average full page should be exhibited.

How Can I use a canonical URL?

Canonical tag best clinics the Ideal Way to Get a canonical URL page-1. The rel=canonical onsite two wants to trick out page. In case that you tip it, she may not index the links on these pages, which are more resonant.

Pages on your site, then there is a chance the typical individual URLs can get traffic from external sources.

Together with www models (e.g., http://example.com and http://www.example.com)

After logging on to Your admin panel, then proceed to Procedure. All these are Distinct typical pages out of Google’s eyes, Use canonical URLs to join the link signals from Ensure them 100 per cent special.

To get Many Different factors, Several webpages into one URL that you define. Several sites utilize protocol-relative back inbound links, meaning that they leave the entrance / HTTPS part within their URLs. Don’t do this for your canonicals. Now you have a taste, so reveal it.

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A hierarchical hyperlink facet, or meta tag, can be True, the Most Often encountered strategy to Webpage (e.g., example.com/page along with amp. To put it differently, if URLs Y, Y, and Z’ all copies X might be the sole Variant, it is, in fact, nice to set the tag pointing in X URL X.

This may appear obvious, but it is an ordinary degree of confusion. Forms (e.g., example.com/services/SEO/ and also example.com/specials/SEO/)

Nevertheless, hunt engines such as Google crawl URLs, possibly to the current page, while generating your information, you’re doing so incorrectly. Your posts should be aware of their URLs. In any other scenario, you may have the exact parcel of posts.

— for instance — example.com and www.example.com and have these canonicalize to independently. Spotcheck your in case You filter to get only XL shirts, then a parameter is
Consider this fashion, which may you are prone to just.

I could have identifying URLs. Notably so if you are coping with a vast Online website with plenty of webpages,

you then will use canonical URLs to posts on numerous domains. You’ll come across sites or blogs that post content articles from different sites by themselves because they think the material is more applicable to your users.

Back in earlier instances, we’ve experienced blogs republishing posts from Yoast.com as-well (with country permission ).

Combined signals Favorite sort of online website. It appears in just a tiny portion of the code
base over a page that informs she is just how to crawl the page and place the worth of those posts. In the event you’ve got precisely the very same articles found on several different URLs,

Using this particular code is known as rel=meta tag –may help search crawlers improved understand just what content is more crucial, solve duplicate article topics, improve the rank of articles, and can contribute more generous customers for your site.

Write a different canonical tag for each and pretty much each Variant of the URL (completely lacking the entire intention of this meta tag). Be sure you Spotcheck your URLs, especially on e-commerce, together with CMS-driven sites.

Having Said This, crawl budgets Aren’t an issue for the Nonetheless, if you had believed the HTML of Quite biased content: a Variety of the product May Have With distinct printable versions of pages (e.g.,  Think about precise copies.

It is very likely to utilize the meta tag on near-duplicates (pages using the very same posts ) but continue with caution.

There is a whole great deal of debate on this matter. However, it’s usually nice to use meta tags for similar webpages, such as a thing page that is different with cash, location, or some other tiny product attribute.

Bear in mind the Web page’s noncanonical variations may perhaps well be qualified for ranking; alternative page with the proper canonical tag.

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If the pages are too different, search engines may dismiss the tag. Often have lists that extend into multiple pages.

Websites that fall prey to replicate articles. With AMP Together with non-AMP variations of the Standard full  However, it’s not only e-commerce online web
faceted/filtered navigation.

Duplicate content Issues Can Be Exceedingly tricky, nevertheless. Including tags and HTML-code could look daunting for all those. The tag is more crucial as search engines regularly.
Engine Optimisation, But Far More especially,

There Are Quite a several Explanations for Why You Ought to Utilize canonical URLs as just one specialized. Search Engine Optimization focus area: in case, You then filter to get only blue.

Erroneously in case, you send out combined signals. To put it differently, don’t canonicalize page –> page B then subsequently web page B
– page page > page A. Likewise, don’t canonicalize page –> page B

then 301 redirect page B – page> page A. Send transparent signs, or you push
search engines such as Google to make terrible decisions.

Guarantee the authentic piece of information material is the one that positions. You might utilize canonical URLs to unite rank signals. after the Vast Majority of people consider canonicalizationthey.

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Why is this important?
It is considered best practice only to specify canonicals using a single method on any given URL. this is because using both methods makes the configuration more open to human error.

Imagine you implement a canonical on Page A, which points to Page B as the canonical URL, using BOTH a tag in the HTTP header. Some time passes, and you introduce a new page, Page C, which will also become the new canonical for Page A.

You change the canonical in the but completely forget about the canonical existence in the HTTP header, and so do not change it.

The net result would be mismatched canonicals, which would cause search engines to ignore the canonical instruction entirely (which would then trigger the Hint: Mismatched canonical tag in HTML and HTTP header).

You can avoid such catastrophic futures by only using a single method for defining canonicals.

What does the Hint check?

This Hint will trigger any internal URL containing a canonical link element both in the HTML and in the HTTP header, even if the canonical URLs are the same.

Examples that trigger this Hint:

Consider the URL: https://example.com/page-a.
The Hint would trigger for this URL if it had canonicals in both locations pointing to the same URL;

Canonical link in the to a URL
AND HTTP Header canonical link to the same URL
HTTP/… 200 OK

Link: ; rel=”canonical”
The Hint would also trigger for this URL if it had canonicals in both locations pointing to different URLs;

Canonical link in the to a URL
AND HTTP Header canonical link to the different URL
HTTP/… 200 OK

Link: ; rel=”canonical” <link rel=”pingback”

Why is this Hint marked ‘Potential Issue’?

This Hint is a ‘Potential Issue,’ which means that it is unlikely to be affecting the site at the moment but should be investigated as it could cause issues in the future.

To resolve future issues, simply select one method of defining canonicals and only use that method. You may need to seek developer input to determine which method is easier to manage for each specific website.SEO advantages of canonical tags

The advantage of a canonical tag is that it can be added directly to the page in question – you don’t need access rights to the server configuration, as you would for server-side redirects. You can further use the tag to specify a standard page without needing to redirect to another URL.
Besides, when you use a canonical link,

Google no more extended splits the ranking across the individual URLs but bundles it, improving the canonical page’s ranking in search results. All this makes canonical links an essential tool for SEO, supported by search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

What Is a Canonical (Or Rel=Canonical) Tag? Why Is It Important?

A canonical tag (also known as a “rel=canonical” tag) is a tried-and-true method of letting online search engines know that a specific URL represents the “master copy” of a website page.

Implementing the canonical tag can prevent problems typically caused when identical or “duplicate” content appears on multiple URLs. Essentially,

The canonical tag notifies search engines which version of a URL you want to appear in its search results.

In addition to negatively impacting your SEO rankings, duplicate content can cause some other pretty serious SEO problems if not addressed swiftly, correctly, and thoroughly.

When a search engine “crawls” multiple URLs with identical (or nearly identical) content, several of these SEO problems can unfold.

First and foremost, if search engine crawlers have to dig through an excessive amount of duplicate content, they might miss a good portion of your original content.

Secondly, large-scale duplication can knock down and diminish your ranking abilities, making your SEO strategy ineffective. Even if

your content does rank, the search engines might mistakenly identify the incorrect URL as the “original” URL – primarily if you have not used canonical tags to “educate” the engines and their crawlers.

When confronted with duplicate content, the search engines’ confused crawlers simply don’t or won’t know which versions of the duplicate content to rank for query results – nor which versions to include and exclude from their indices.

Related: Technical SEO Checklist & Guide

Content management systems (CMS) and dynamic, code-driven websites amplify the problem further. Many sites automatically add tags, enable multiple paths and URLs to the same content, and add URL parameters for sorts and searches.

It’s possible that you currently have hundreds or even thousands of duplicate URLs on your site – without even realizing it. Well, you may not know it. But the search engines and their crawlers sure do.

Utilizing canonicalization and canonical URLs helps you control your duplicate content – and empowers your site and content to perform better and more efficiently on the increasingly-crowded web by being able to point to your preferred version. Think of smart rel=canonical usage as a win-win.

How to Correctly Handle Duplicate Content With Canonical Tags Like any tool involving any technology, there are right and wrong – or smart and not-so-smart – ways to implement canonical tags in your ongoing efforts to handle duplicate content and its many unpleasant side effects.

First off, it’s vital to decide which content or page you want to direct your viewers – and the search engines and their crawlers – toward. Remember that search engines, when faced with duplicate content, tend to “grab” one version – while filtering the others out.

This also happens when and where multiple domain names are involved.

Once that immediate decision has been made, you should decide whether it serves you, your business, and your site (and its content) best to use a canonical URL tag or opt with a 301 redirect instead. Remember,

The use of a canonical URL tag makes it possible for human visitors to visit both URLs, should they so choose, in the case of a page redirect. With 301 direct, the viewer is automatically taken to the secondary/redirected page.

Cross-Domain Usage of Rel=Canonical

What’s more, you can even use rel=canonical across different domains. In other words, you can have one “canonical URL” (or “preferred” version of a web page) replicated on more than one other domain – allowing you to, for Example, distribute certain content across several sites.

Yes, multiple versions of domains and pages can point to anyone’s “canonical URL” yours.
Using the rel=canonical tag to tell the search engines that identical content exists on more.

Than one domain not only can help you “cross-post” content across various domains that you own but could benefit you when others republish your unique content or rent or purchase content on other sites.

There are strong, smart reasons to duplicate content across various sites under their control for some sites, businesses, and brands.

And Google fully supports cross-domain rel=canonical usage to help facilitate such efforts – via the rel=” canonical” link element established in 2009.

The rel=canonical element – often referred to as the “canonical link” – is an HTML element that helps webmasters prevent duplicate content issues.

It does this work by specifying the “canonical URL,” and smart usage of the rel=canonical element also improves its SEO performance and ranking.

The webmasters over at Google suggest you first choose your preferred domain, then place your focus on handling duplication (r.e. consolidate duplicate URLs) within your site before starting in on cross-site duplicate content efforts.

Google then suggests you enable crawling and use 301 redirects where possible. According to Google, 301 redirects are “generally the preferred method, as it gives clear guidance to everyone who accesses the content.”

The SEO experts at Yoast seem to agree here, advising that “if there are no technical reasons not to do a redirect,

you should always do a redirect if you cannot redirect because that would break the user experience or be otherwise problematic: set a canonical URL.

Finally, Google suggests that you now go ahead and use the rel=” canonical” link element, but be aware that there are situations where it’s not possible nor easy to set up redirects – such as an attempt to move your website from a server that doesn’t feature server-side redirects.

Examples of Smart Rel=Canonical Usage

Letting other sites post your content (and getting their re=canonical back in return) is just one of many examples of smart, efficient usage of rel=canonical in today’s online environment.

Posting the same blog post or having similar content pieces on an array of different URL sites, as we covered a fair bit earlier, is another example.

Another smart usage could involve using rel=canonical as a “compromise” for other, outside sites (i.e., sites not owned or controlled by you) that duplicate your content.

In summary, implementing the canonical tag can not only prevent the many problems caused by identical or “duplicate” content, but smart canonical page usage can improve your site’s SEO performance and ranking. Who wouldn’t want to see those kinds of results?

Our eCommerce platform may enable you to modify canonical tags for each page quickly as changing a title tag.

However, the best option is to manage canonical tags programmatically, which likely involves a developer.

Canonical tags can also manage syndicated content that appears on multiple sites. The words determine duplicate content, not the design or the font.

Similarly, excerpts posted on one site that links to a full version on another are duplicate content.

Absent a canonical tag, and search engines will choose which page to rank based on which was posted first, which has more links, or another algorithmic method.

To correctly assign rank, use canonical tags and obligate syndication partners to use them, too.

Other Options and how to fix alternate page with proper canonical tag.

There are three additional ways beyond tags to specify canonical URLs: in the XML sitemap, in HTTP headers, and with a 301 redirect.XML sitemaps list the URLs on your site that you want search bots to crawl. Done right,

XML sitemaps are useful in delivering canonical URLs. Unfortunately, many sites fail to execute sitemaps correctly or fail to note noncanonical URLs, leaving search engines to make the association of duplicate pages on their own.

PDF files and other file formats that do not contain HTML source code can indicate a canonical URL in the HTTP header. For Example, say you have the same text on a web page and a PDF file.

You want the web page to rank because it contains your site’s navigation and calls to action. To do this, place a self-referencing canonical tag on the page, such as: Canonical URL

I mean by canonical URL because this exact URL is the one you want the search engines to index and rank. The other URLs that have similar content, have a similar purpose, or are duplicates of your canonical URL should not be indexed and ranked by the search engines.

If you happen to have this occurrence, you should use the canonical tag for the one you think is the best one.

For Example, you have the canonical URL, hello.com/a. Then, you have another page, hello.com/b, which is the duplicate of your canonical URL that came from a problem in your site architecture, or you use it for testing.

Then you have this version, hello.com/a?ref=twitter, which has a URL parameter. Keep in mind that the parameter does not change the content.

So, your canonical URL is hello.com/a, and Google will know that the other URLs such as hello.com/b and hello.com/a?ref=twitter are duplicates or serve the same purpose as hello.com/a – which would lead Google to know that the one that they should index is the canonicalized URL.

Another great use of the rel=canonical tag is for cross-domains. If you want to republish content on hello.com/a to another website, you can put it in a cross-domain rel=canonical, which tells Google that hello.com/a is the original one.

As a result, every time Google crawls the other website, they will know that the original version is in hello.com/a.

Canonicalize Multiple URLs
There are numerous ways where you can canonicalize multiple URLs. Here are some of them:

1. Rel=canonical

As I have mentioned, you can use the rel=canonical tag for canonicalization. However, it is not the only one that you could use. I still recommend this, but sometimes you can also use other ways. There are also some not recommended ways – which will be discussed in the later parts of this article.

2. 301 Direct

This code is the one that people use whenever they have duplicate content, changed URLs, or transferred a page’s content to a different one. It is you telling Google that you want your visitors to go to hello.com/a instead of hello.com/b.

3. Google Search Console’s Search Parameters

This way is the best option if you have numerous URLs and URL parameters. Sometimes, your web development team would just be wasting time if they individually clean each page. You can be useful in cleaning up your website by using Google Search Console’s search parameters option.

However, you have to make an account that is verified and connected to your website for this solution to work. After ensuring all of this, you can proceed to the Search Console’s Search Parameters section to make specific parameters in your website passive.

So, for example, you have numerous URL parameters in your website, you can just set them to be passive, and Google will know that these URLs and URL parameters could be ignored. This could be a helpful way for you to canonicalize.

4. Location Hashes

This is for the webmasters and SEOs that have the same content on two different pages but have slight differences. Let’s say hello.com/a has content about laptops at the top of the page, but hello.com/b has content about laptops at the bottom of the page.

You have the same content in both URLs, the same search intent, and essentially doing the same thing. alternate page with proper canonical tag

Well, if you want Google to treat it as one, then add the hash. In this case, it will be a#b, making someone go to the specific section of the page.

If you have a “jobs” page on your website but do not directly go to the “Job listings” part, use the #listings in the URL to take people directly to the job listings page. After you have done this, Google will consider all of them as one URL.

Therefore, they will be ranking it the same, and they will not be indexed differently because they are canonicalized to the same URL.

Always remember that even if you use robots.txt to block Googlebot’s spiders from reaching hello.com/b, Google will still not allow that /b and hello.com/a to possess the same content.
Since they cannot crawl /b, they will not see anything inside that URL, and it is invisible to them.

This means that they will have no concept of its rankings signals, the links that point to that URL, and any engagement signals or content. Google will not see any ranking signal that might have helped /a rank better.

2. Do not Block Indexation and canonical knowledge

Even if you might think of using the no-index tag so that Google could still determine that /a and /b’s content is the same, but they will not index /b, you are still essentially facing the same problem using the robots.txt.

You will still prevent them from merging the ranking signals of /a and /b – which is vital for your SEO.

3. Only use the 301

I still strongly recommend that you use the 301 redirects for canonicalization because it is a permanent redirect. It has the highest chance to succeed in canonicalization, even if there is the 302 or the 307. For most SEOs – myself included – the 301 redirect is still the best for canonicalization, so if you are canonicalizing, the 301 redirect is the one to use.

4. Avoid using 404 for the Noncanonical Version

I do not recommend that you use 404 for the URLs that have duplicate content. Do not 404 it if you instead use the 301 redirects. If you use the 404, you will lose the ranking signals for the other URLs, decreasing the chances of /a having a better time in ranking.

The only time I would use the 404 is when you have a new page, or the page was just the product of an error. Only use 404 if you know that the URL you will be using it on does not have any ranking signals and is full of problems and  canonical knowledge .

However, if an URL had organic visitors and real people linked to it, then use the 301 instead.

How to add a canonical tag in Joomla

The most popular way is using Joomla canonical plugin or extension. And for all of those plugins, I think the most easy-to-use and suitable for Joomla CMS is Custom Canonical Pugin by Daniel Morrell. Since it is also free to download, so anyone can access this extension.

Step 1: Download and install the extension on your Joomla site
Step 2: Navigate the plugin in your site with the name: Custom Canonical.

How to add a canonical tag in Joomla

The most popular way is using Joomla canonical plugin or extension. And for all of those plugins, I think the most easy-to-use and suitable for Joomla CMS is Custom Canonical Pugin by Daniel Morrell. Since it is also free to download, so anyone can access this extension.

Step 1: Download and install the extension on your Joomla site
Step 2: Navigate the plugin in your site with the name: Custom Canonical.

POTENTIAL IMPACT & VALUE

A canonical tag has much more impact than most tags present on your average web page. There are so many different problems that can arise from the incorrect implementation or lack of implementation that it’s hard to define a ‘general’ level of impact.

Typically if something is wrong with or involving canonical tags, it’s not good news for you. Below are some examples of incorrect implementation and the impact it has on your SEO.

INCORRECT URL

Using the wrong URL within a canonical tag could have several implications; typically, all have the characteristic that the page with the incorrect tag will not appear within the SERPs.

BROKEN LINK

If the URL was missing a character, for Example, and the resulting URL does not exist, then this page will not rank for the content on it at all. Furthermore, no other page will rank for this content either.

WRONG PAGE (INTERNAL)

If you have added the URL of another page (page B) on your site, from ‘page A,’ then the page B will likely appear in the SERPs in place of Place A. It will do so with less success if Page B is not relevant to Page A’s content. This will impact negatively on your keyword rankings.

WRONG PAGE (EXTERNAL)

If you have a link to a webpage on another website within the tag, this will be disastrous for your content, as now all of the authority is being lost to another website. Although there are legitimate reasons, you would canonical to an external source canonical knowledge.

if this is terrible news if unintentional. This can happen if a web designer uses a template or included a placeholder URL in the tag and consequently rolled this out to the rest of the site.

How do i make a Page my Homepage

This is a common mistake. Something we often see is canonical tags pointing to the home page of the site for no reason. The impact of this depends on how many pages of your site this occurs on.
It’s not unknown or uncommon to see these sitewide canonical tags all pointing to the home page. If every page has the same canonical tag, none of your web pages are going to rank for their content…

This will massively impact your rankings and should be resolved with some urgency.

The impact is the same for every page, which is the page with the tag will not rank for its content.

This is multiplied up for every new page that suffers the same problem.

MANY TO ONE

Canonical tags were designed to manage similar or identical content on multiple URLs, not for managing multiple URLs, all with unique content.

This is frequently done with the aim of ‘gaming the system’ in the guise of ‘optimisation.’ There is an incorrect concept that by canonical a load of pages, often in a subdirectory to a category page, to one page; in the hope that it will boost the authority of the one page.

However, you lose out in the long run because, in this scenario, you have many pages with unique content rendered unable to rank for that content.

BAD CODE

If you do not use the correct code, the tag will not be recognized, and thus the tag will not affect.

Examples of lousy coding are; missing closing brackets or using the wrong characters. This will vary depending on why the tag was implemented and what canonicalization issues the site experiences.

However, destructive code does not include whether to use single or double quotes within the code. Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed this in 2015. In the Example below, we use the double quotes, but this makes no difference to using single quotes.

CONFLICT

A particularly unpleasant implementation of ‘rel canonical’ is if it conflicts with a pre-established canonical format. For Example, a site uses an access redirect to force the site to only be accessible without the ‘www.’

or if it forces lowercase URLs if the canonical tags stipulate that the canonical URL includes the ‘www,’ you could potentially end up with indexing problems.
This could impact rankings and will confuse any search engine.

CANONICAL CHAINS

This where ‘Page A’ canonicals to ‘Page B’ which canonicals to ‘Page C’etc.
This sends mixed signals to Search Engines and can result in some creative problems with your rankings.

Some authority is lost with each link in the canonical chain, and problems can be amplified if a page in the chain goes missing or breaks.

REDIRECTS

If you canonical ‘Page A’ to ‘Page B’ but ‘Page B’ redirects to ‘Page C,’ this creates an unnecessary chain of events that a Search Engine has to follow to establish what the preferred URL is, the more difficult this is made,

The less likely you are to have the desired effect. This also opens the door to the possibility that if a page or redirect in the chain breaks, the rel canonical will be pointing to a missing page or a broken page.

Always be simple and straightforward with canonical tags, ensure that they link to the source of the content if linking to another page.

CIRCULAR LINKING

As the name suggests, this is where an infinite loop is created, for Example, Canonical ‘Page A’ to ‘Page B,’ but ‘Page B’ canonicals (or redirects) to ‘Page A.’ In this scenario, you lose control over what page is picked as the canonical, impacting your rankings.

If Google doesn’t resolve the issue by assuming what URL to use, you could experience a complete loss of rankings for the affected pages.

MISSING CANONICAL TAG
Failing to implement a canonical tag could lead to content duplication issues, unwanted pages being indexed, and the desired URLs not being indexed.

As mentioned, there are many reasons why you may need to implement real canonical on a site; if it is to resolve a specific issue, the issue will likely continue if you do not implement that tag.

RELATIVE LINKS

There two primary methods that can be used when implementing a link of any kind. These are known as relative links & absolute links canonical knowledge.

Relative links – These omit some part of the URL and are hence usually ‘relative’ to the current location,for Example; /category/sub-directory/page-a.html

 

This omits the root domain, whereas an absolute link includes the full URL: http://www.example.com/category/sub-directory/page-a.html

Using the following URL would also be relative as it omits the http://example.com/category/sub-directory/page-a.html

This implies that or at least Google will determine the desired location to be the following:

http://example.com/example.com/category/sub-directory/page-a.html

This is not what anyone wants, and in this case, likely, Google will simply ignore the tag, and thus any benefit from adding the tag will be wasted.

It is typically considered best practice to use absolute links on live sites; staging sites often have to use relative linking.

PAGINATION

Where a piece of content is divided up over multiple pages, for Example:

Example.com/article?story=how-to-seo&page1
Example.com/article?story=how-to-seo&page2
Example.com/article?story=how-to-seo&page3

This is not the place to use ‘rel=canonical’ on pages 2 & 3 because these pages are not duplicates of each other. Doing this would prevent the content on pages 2 & 3 from being indexed.

Please follow the link for more information on pagination, where we explain how to use the rel=” previous” and rel=” next” tags.

INCORRECT PLACEMENT

The tag should be implemented within the section of a website’s source code. Placing the tag in the tag will not work. Like most tags, they need to be located in a specific region of the code.
When incorrectly located, all Search Engines will virtually ignore the tag, rendering them redundant, and no benefit will be gained from them. If being used to resolve a problem, the problem will remain unresolved.

MULTIPLE ITERATIONS

Ensure that a page has only one canonical tag present on it. The first tag in the code will likely be the one that Google accepts, but this could cause Google to ignore them, again rendering the tags useless.

CANONICAL TAG and non canonical CONFIGURATION

Usually, a canonical tag points/links to the same page that it is located on. It may be that the page is accessible from multiple URLs due to query strings, upper and lowercase characters, etc.
Ensure that rel=canonical link elements reside on every page of the website to minimize the possibility of duplicate content issues occurring.

Additionally, ensure that the page URL matches the URL specified within the canonical tag – if it doesn’t, try to determine if this was intentionally done (usually a unique canonical tag may be used to attribute link authority to another page of the website and to prohibit the page from being indexed).

A canonical tag is constructed using the code below, in this Example the page that it is located on is www.example.com.au/page-1.html, and the content on that page is unique to that page.

MOBILE SITES

Mobile sites are less common now compared to responsive or adaptive websites, which are far more efficient. However, there are still many mobile sites around, and they will often sit on an m.domain or some other similar subdomain. Fundamentally this equates to duplicating the majority of your content onto a subdomain.

To handle this correctly, Google has set out how the two sites’ relationships should be structured using the tag. This means using ‘rel-alternate’ in addition to the ‘rel canonical’ tags to define this relationship in-line with Google’s requirements.

On the desktop site, you need to add a ‘rel=alternate’ tag that links to the corresponding page on the mobile site, for Example:
On the page: http://www.example.com.au/page-1.html, the following code should be used:

This allows Google’s crawler (Googlebot) to identify the mobile URL version of this page’s content more easily. On the mobile page:
http://www.m.example.com.au/page-1.html, the following code should be implemented:

It is worth noting that you can still add the rel canonical tag to the desktop version of each page, but avoid the canonical chains and non canonical described above.

FINDING THE REL CANONICAL TAG

The canonical tag is not a visible component of the page like the page title, and you can find this in the source code of a website, typically located in the HTML header section at the top with other Metadata.

If you are browsing a site with Google Chrome, only right-click on a page and select ‘view source code.

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