How to use canonical links?

stylor

I want to make sure our website doesn't get dinged by search engines for duplicate content. How do you use canonical links to prevent it (and are they effective at that)?

Topic: Internet
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Christopher Nerney
Vote Up (17)

This article (What a Canonical Link is and How to Use It Properly) says...

 

When a canonical link meta tag is included into a template, it essentially informs the major search engines that an entry page is part of a larger grouping of posts that should not be displayed in a duplicate manner within search results. For example, the tag could be displayed on every category and tag-based page that simply tells the search engine to consider those pages the same as a standalone entry page. It would then link together the standalone entry page, the category page, and the tag page, so that they are all perceived to be the same thing for the search engine. This boosts a website’s search engine optimization because the major search engines no longer consider every separate entry page to be a separate search result. They now view that content as a single, unified source, and they’ll rank it higher because it’s less “diluted” in search engine results. That can only lead to good things for the website’s administrator, as higher search engine rankings typically lead to more ad clicks, conversions, and e-commerce.

 

 

rcook12
Vote Up (10)

Google has said in the past that they view canonical links as a merely a request, but one that they pay a lot of attention to. So yep, it should help you with your SEO practices. 

jimlynch
Vote Up (9)

This article has some useful information about canonical links.

Canonical link element
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canonical_link_element

"A canonical link element is an HTML element that helps webmasters prevent duplicate content issues by specifying the "canonical", or "preferred", version of a web page[1][2] as part of search engine optimization. It is described in RFC 6596, which went live in April 2012.
Duplicate content issues occur when the same content is accessible from multiple URLs.[3] For example, http://www.example.com/page.html would be considered by search engines to be an entirely different page to http://www.example.com/page.html?parameter=1, even though both URLs return the same content. Another example is essentially the same (tabular) content, but sorted differently."

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