What is a Canonical Tag?
A Canonical tag specifies the sourceURL (or the original content page) of a particular page for a Search Engine like Google. Canonical tags are used to declare a single page as its own source or to duplicate pages to point to their source/origin page. Search engines use the canonical tag to combat duplicate content issues, and assign a link to the page declared as the "source-URL" is called, a search engineRanking-value for this content.
Why are canonical tags important?
Duplicate content is a big no go for search engines. Pages with identical or very similar content on your website, are considered negative. This can be used by Google to devalue your website when determining rankings. If you use https on your website, use a content management system like WordPress or Drupal or run an eCommerce website, the possibility of combining different URLs opens up to you.
These can be used by people to access your website. By properly using canonical tags for pages on your website, you can avoid these pitfalls and reap the benefits of a robust website and streamlined practices for Search engine optimization to the full.
How do I apply a Canonical Tag?
On the pages that Google considers to be Canonical tag should recognize, appends a link tag to the head of the HTML code. For example, to link www.wolf-of-seo.de with the Canonical tag the code would look like this:
Repeat this step for every page on your site that you want to make "canonical". Again, using a content management system like WordPress can streamline this effort.
On which pages should I apply the Canonical Tag?
As many as needed. Social media visits, internal site searches, referral links, and other inbound referrals all have the potential to create a unique URL which could have a negative impact on your website's rankings. In addition, many content management systems allow multiple URL-paths provide access to the same content. All of these paths can be searched, and Google could potentially identify them as separate pages with duplicate content.
If you're not sure if duplicate content issues are affecting your SEO, we can perform a full SEO audit of your site to identify issues that are affecting how your site is searched and where it ranks. Once you know what the issues are, you can start fixing them.« Back to Glossary Index