What is a Canonical tag?
A canonical tag is an HTML tag that informs search engines that two URLs that appear to be similar are actually the same page. A link element in the HTML document’s HEAD is then used to add the canonical tag to the pages.
whether the canonical tag is identical across two URLs. Search engines are told to index the sites as a single item thanks to this signal.
Consider the following URLs, for illustration:
In a strict sense, these are the same location. It indicates that despite having various URLs, they all access our Knowledge Base main page. Despite having the exact same information, each of them would be indexed and crawled separately by Google and other search engines.
Put the Canonical tag here!
Exactly what does a Canonical tag do?
We can inform search engines that all of these various URLs go to the same resources or page by using the canonical tag. Keeping with our example, the canonical page would appear as follows:
All of the sample URLs should be indexed as one page if this Meta tag is present in the HEAD of our pages.
Why should I use Canonical Tags?
When providing the same content from different URLs, canonical tags should be used. Changes to the protocol (http vs. https), query parameters, and (of course) URL structure are among the impacted URL variants. When providing the same content over many URLs, using Canonical tags is extremely helpful. When analysing a website’s SEO performance, we frequently refer to it as the “Duplicate Content” problem.
Additionally, it ensures that search engines only index pages using the “cleanest” form of the page’s URL in the event of URLs having query parameters. This prevents your main page from being indexed independently from any pages using query parameters.
To 301 redirect, or to Canonical; that is the question.
You will appreciate how crucial it might be to correctly redirect your URLs if you are familiar with the SEO subject. Why not just redirect these sites, you could be asking. What a wonderful question! Always add a redirect if you ever get the chance. If the same content appears on two sites, consider canonical tags as a technique to resolve any possible ambiguity, whereas a 301 redirect eliminates any potential ambiguity. Having saying that, you should essentially always try to incorporate Canonical tags. This is due to the fact that they also assist in addressing URL variants dependent on query parameters.