Canonical Tags: A Beginner’s Guide

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Canonical tags are HTML elements that are used to signal to search engines which version of a webpage is the preferred version to display in search results. This is particularly useful for websites that have multiple pages with similar content, as it helps to prevent duplicate content issues that can negatively impact search engine rankings.

If you’re new to the world of SEO, understanding canonical tags can seem daunting at first. But don’t worry, this beginner’s guide will walk you through everything you need to know to get started.

First, let’s define what a canonical tag is. In short, a canonical tag is a piece of code that tells search engines which version of a webpage is the primary or preferred version. This is important because search engines may sometimes index multiple versions of the same page, leading to duplicate content issues.

To use a canonical tag, you’ll need to include it in the head section of your HTML code. Here’s an example of what it might look like:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://www.example.com/page-1″ />

In this example, the canonical tag is specifying that the preferred version of the page is “https://www.example.com/page-1“. This means that if any other versions of the page exist (such as “https://www.example.com/page-1?utm_source=google“), search engines will know to prioritize the preferred version in search results.

One important thing to note is that canonical tags should only be used when there are multiple versions of a page with similar content. If there are no other versions of the page, or if the content is significantly different, a canonical tag is not necessary.

In conclusion, canonical tags are a powerful tool for ensuring that search engines display the correct version of your website in search results. By using them correctly, you can help to improve your SEO and avoid duplicate content issues. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be a canonical tag pro in no time!

This post was written by Kristian D’An. Kristian is the owner and SEO Specialist at Lux Digital Marketing, a local SEO company in Pinellas Park FL. Kristian has been optimizing websites successfully for over 7 years. He has helped his clients achieve the #1 position on Google in several different industries.

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