One aspect of SEO that is often overlooked, however, is the use of canonical tags. In this post, we’ll explain what canonical tags are and why they are important when doing technical SEO.
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What are Canonical Tags?
Canonical tags, also known as “rel canonical,” are HTML attributes that tell search engines which version of a webpage to index. They are used to prevent duplicate content issues, which can negatively impact your website’s search engine rankings.
Here’s an example of a canonical tag in the head section of a webpage:
<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.example.com/article">
In this example, the canonical tag is indicating that the webpage at “https://www.example.com/article” is the preferred version of the content.
Why are Canonical Tags Important for SEO?
Duplicate content can be a major issue for SEO. If search engines find multiple versions of the same content, they may not know which version to index, or they may choose a version that is less optimized for SEO. This can result in lower search rankings for your website.
By using canonical tags, you can tell search engines which version of the content is the preferred version, ensuring that the right version is indexed and given proper credit for the content. This can help improve your website’s search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your site.
How to Use Canonical Tags
Using canonical tags is fairly straightforward. Simply add the canonical tag to the head section of the webpage that you want to be the preferred version of the content. If you have multiple pages with similar content, you can use the canonical tag to indicate which page is the preferred version.
For example, let’s say you have a blog post that is published on your website and also on a guest blogging site. To prevent duplicate content issues, you can add a canonical tag to the guest blog post that points to the original post on your website. This tells search engines that the original post on your website is the preferred version of the content.
Here’s an example of how you can do this:
<head> <link rel="canonical" href="https://www.example.com/blog-post"> </head>
It’s important to note that canonical tags are a hint to search engines, not a directive. This means that search engines may choose to ignore the canonical tag if they determine that a different version of the content is more relevant.
Canonical tags are an important aspect of SEO that can help prevent duplicate content issues and improve your website’s search engine rankings. By using canonical tags, you can tell search engines which version of your content is the preferred version, ensuring that the right version is indexed and given proper credit for the content. Make sure to include canonical tags on your website to maximize its SEO potential.
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