When one talks about SEO, we need to take into consideration various factors. The factors are related to both on pages as well as off-page. But if you do not do on page SEO in an optimum manner, then the efforts taken on your off page SEO optimization go totally waste. Final result being no output as expected.
CRB Tech would like to explain the concept of Canonicalization to you and its optimum use through this blog. By reading this, you would be able to carry out Canonicalization of a website in an optimum manner.
Let us first understand what is URL Canonicalization?
The concept can be a bit tough to grasp. So, we would try to explain it in easy language and terms.
Suppose that a website has two URL’s. They are as follows:
These pages have content, however they do not redirect to even one of the URLs. This would lead to a copyright issue with Google showing duplicate content issue. You might have to pay penalties. Google’s Panda algorithm is a filter introduced to catch poor or duplicate content sites from ranking in the top results.
Let us look at one more example where there are two URLs on a website page, and the end up in same page resolution.
Now in this case if both of the pages show same content, then it is again a problem of sorts.
This problems tend to get ignored easily and result in heavy fines for copyright related issues. When such a thing happens, a search engine like Google is confused on which URL to add to its index. If two pages are found to be same content wise, then they are bound to be said to be copy of one another, resulting into a penalty.
Such an issue therefore needs to be resolved. Your server settings should be such that even if the user accesses your website with or without www, the site should open on any single version. This is the method to resolve a canonical error. But, in case you wish to display similar content on two different pages, then the use of rel=”canonical” tags becomes necessary. This tag allows a search engine to know as to which page is original and which is its copy. This technique helps to avoid content duplication.
Canonicalization Application and Canonical Tag Optimization:
As mentioned above, just a rel=”canonical” tag is enough to apply canonicalization.
Take into consideration above two URLs. Suppose that the second of the two has content same as the first one. Therefore, applying the canonical tag becomes a must. This would mark the index.php page URL as the canonical of the first one.
Syntax for its application.
<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://thewebpage.org/index.php”>
HTTP Header Tag Canonicalization:
The above tag can be also used in case of HTML scripted content. In case of non HTML content, HTTP Header Canonicalization needs to be used. Here is a sample of the same:
> HTTP/1.1 200 OK
> Content-Type: application/pdf
> Link: <http://www.example.com/white-paper.html>; rel=”canonical”
> Content-Length: 785710
Read more on this at Google’s official Webmaster blog.
Correct Use of Canonicalization:
Never to be used outside of heading tags:
Search engine bots or spiders will absolutely disregard the labels that are set outside the <head> are of the site so with a specific end goal to apply a legitimate authoritative label, you have to include it between <head></head>.
Multiple Canonical Tags a Strict No:
Utilizing more then one Canonical tags is pointless. Web crawlers will disregard both of the tags and you will confront peculiar SEO conduct and issues. Multiple canonical tag URLs are once in a while brought on because of plugin glitches so you may need to watch out for that.
Do not utilize it for PageRank Sculpting:
Page Rank is no more a public entity or measurement to a site, however it is still considered by the web crawlers. In the event that you are wanting to utilize Canonical tags for PageRank sculpting and to show signs of better ranking, let us make it clear that it will accomplish more harm to your site than great.