What Is Canonical Tag And Why It’s So Important For Technical SEO?

Hello Bloggers!! 

You've often heard the term like Off-Page SEO, On-Page SEO, Technical SEO when you're in digital marketing field. But have you heard:)

What Is canonical Tag? And why it is so important if you want to outrank your competitors in SERPs.

Now a days piracy content are on their top level and to stop this all bullshits Google introduced a term name "URL Canonicalization".

See, Google doesn't hire human beings to check or index a page manually. They have Bots which're machine. And they can't differentiate which one is original and which one is pirated version.

So, how we can show to Google that our content is original? 

To mark your content original on front of Google Bots eyes you have to add one tag to your page URL.

What is the tag and how to add it to your website or blog let's find out.

Let's dive deep into it...


What Is Canonical Tag Or URL Canonicalization?

Ok, canonical tag is basically a tag which is applied before the URL to make it original while URL canonicalization is a process of applying canonical.

URL canonicalization can be tough for you to understand. So, let's take a example to understand it easily.

There is three URL in website which shows same content.

  • https://yourwebsite.com (Original Page)
  • https://www.yourwebsite.com/home
  • https://www.yourwebsite.com

All pages of website is showing same content so, this can arise duplicate content issue on front of Google bots eyes and they can't decide which one to index which can result to serious penalties.

Many people don't take it seriously but this small mistake of yours can result to your website/blog downgrade.

So, what to do?  

You've to add a rel="canonical" tag (canonical tag) before the URL which you want to make original. So, that search engines can identify which is original.


How To Apply Canonicalization Properly?

Canonicalization word seen like heavy but there is no rocket science behind it. You've to add a single tag and all the things are automatically done for you.

There're two ways through which we can add canonical tag to our non-WordPress website/blog.

How to add canonical tag on a WordPress website/blog we will discuss later.

Ok, there are two ways named HTML Canonicalization and the other one is HTTP Header Canonicalization. Let's understand one by one.

HTML Canonicalization 

HTML canonicalization is basically used in webpages. If there is two different pages which showing same content then you can apply canonical tag rel="canonical" to avoid piracy.

This is how we applied..

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.yourwebsite.com">

HTTP Header Canonicalization 

Through above process we can do canonicalization of webpages but what if we've to apply canonical tag in any non-HTML content specially like PDF document. 

Google Webmaster blog has talked in more detailed about URL canonicalization and canonical tag. 

This is how we applied..

-HTTP/1.1 200 OK  
-Content-Type: pdf
-Link: <http://www.samplewebsite.com/webpage.html>; rel="canonical"
-Content-Length: 210395

How To Apply Canonical Tag In WordPress Website?

Ok, we have understand how we can apply canonical tag to normal website now we're going to understand how to apply canonical tag in WordPress website or blog.

There is a very easy process to apply canonical tag in WordPress website.

Here also there is two process of applying canonical tag into the site URL.

  • Adding it to theme header.php file.
  • Using some SEO plugins like RankMath.

You can place the code manually in header.php file but it is a very complex thing to do. If you're a coder or having good knowledge of coding then you can go with first option.

If you don't then I will recommend to skip the first option because if you do anything wrong there then your website will go down or it will show error.

You can also add canonical tag with the help of SEO plugin named RankMath.

Here how you can do...

Make sure you have installed RankMath SEO plugin to apply this steps.

  • Login to your WordPress website. 
  • Click on post you want to URL canonicalization for.
  • You will see a button on right hand showing your article score. Something like this (47/100) click on it.
  • Then go to advance tab scroll down.
  • You will get option of canonical tag just type the URL on the box you want to apply the canonical.
  • You're done.
Canonical Tag Through RankMath

RankMath plugin will automatically add canonical to your original URL so don't worry.

But if you want to change the URL then you can follow the above step. So, I can think that now you know how to do URL canonicalization.


How To Check Canonical Tag Of Any Post?

Ok, finding a canonical tag is much easier than applying it. So, in this section we're going to know how to canonical tag.

Ok, there are two ways through which you can find canonicalization.

  • By viewing HTML code (page source)
  • Through Google Search Console (GSC)

Let's see one by one properly...

By Viewing HTML Code

You can check canonicalization by watching HTML code of your post. Basically you will find canonical under the <head> of <title> tag.

How to check the canonical tag of website through page source.

So, how to find it let's follow the steps given below.

  • Open the post and press right click.
  • After that click on Inspect.
  • After that press Ctrl+F together.
  • Then type "canonical" in search.
  • And you're done.

Through Google Search Console

 The second way to find canonicalization is the Google Search Console. Through this you can Google has taken your original URL as a canonical or not.

so, how to find it let's see:)

How to check the canonical tag of website through google search console
  • First login to your webmaster tool.
  • Then click on "URL Inspection" after that paste your post URL on box.
  • Then click on the drop down of "Coverage" section.
  • Then you will get that Google has taken your URL as canonical or not.
How to check the canonical tag of website through google search console 2

So, I think that you've got to know how to check canonical tag through GSC.


FAQs: On Canonical Tag

1. What is canonical tag or URL canonicalization?

Canonical tag is a tag which is applied before URL to make it original. URL canonicalization is a process of applying canonical.

2. Is canonical tag important to apply?

Yes, it is important to do URL canonicalization if you don't do then Google might not index your post and apply serious penalties to your blog.

3. How to apply canonical tag in URL?

You can apply canonical tag to URL through two ways:
1. Through adding it header.php file.
2. Through SEO plugin like RankMath.


Final Thoughts

So, here I have shared some knowledge with you about what is canonical tag why it is important for technical SEO.

It is very necessary if you want to rank original content on the first page of Google. You've to apply it very carefully otherwise it can harms your site.

Always check and update your website and apply canonical properly.

Always Learn And Execute!! And Please Share It If You Found It Helpful..

Suryakant Sahoo

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HI!! My Name Is Suryakant sahoo A Blogger, Affiliate Marketer, YouTuber, And Founder Of TechyyDude.com. In This Blog, We Provide Valuable And Authentic Content related to Digital Marketing.

4 thoughts on “What Is Canonical Tag And Why It’s So Important For Technical SEO?”

  1. Hey,
    A canonical tag (aka “rel canonical”) is a way of telling search engines that a specific URL represents the master copy of a page. Using the canonical tag prevents problems caused by identical or “duplicate” content appearing on multiple URLs.

    Reply

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