How To Use rel=canonical To Prevent Copy Issues

The canonical page is commonly know as the preferred page when there are a number of pages with similar content that could be misinterpreted as copy

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What Is rel=canonical And How Do I Use It?

What Is rel=canonical And How Do I Use It?

The canonical page is commonly known as the preferred page when there are a number of pages with similar content that could be misinterpreted as a copy.

Firstly you need to set the preferred version of your website. Google treat www and non-www as two separate URL’s. That can be done in Google Search Console by adding and verifying both versions.

Using rel=canonical In The <head> Section Of Your Document

To use the <link> element with the attribute rel=canonical in the <head> section of your document you would need access to your page codes, or you can use a plugin such as Yoast SEO. This would tell Google which is the preferred version of a set of similar pages.

Example Of rel=canonical

<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.yourpage.com” />

In this example, www.yourpage.com is the preferred page. The above canonical would then be inserted into the <head> section of similar pages, which point to the original page. And it would be inserted into the <head> of the preferred page pointing to itself.

rel=canonical is useful for HTML content but cannot be added to PDF’s and other files. For PDF you would need to be able to configure your server.

Example Of A PDF rel=canonical

Link: <http://www.yourpage.pdf>; rel=”canonical”

Always remembering that re=canonical is only seen as a suggestion. Google will determine which URL contains the copy content and thereafter they will determine the most relevant page to display in search.

rel=canonical can also be used when migrating to a new domain if 301 redirect is not possible


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Author - Terry

Terry is the owner of Cyber SEO Srvices and specializes in Optimization, Web Design and Digital Marketing and has been worked in the field for over 10 years and in Jan 2019 he qualified as a Google Ads Specialist and Consultant for Google Search, Display, Mobile, Shopping and Video Ads.

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