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Canonical URLs : What They Are and Why You Need Them

If you are into SEO, you should have certainly come across the term ‘canonical URLs.’ While it may sound technical, it’s an important concept that cannot be ignored. When your website consistently presents identical content on different URLs, it can negatively affect your search engine rankings. Canonical URLs help to deal with this issue, and in this blog, we’re going to provide you with an in-depth understanding of canonical URLs, their importance, and how they work.

What is a Canonical URL?

A canonical URL is the preferred version of a specific webpage that search engines should display in their search results. It’s a way of letting search engines know that different URLs represent identical content. When search engines see two or more URLs with similar content, they may misinterpret the consistency and assume it’s duplicate content, thus affecting your website’s ranking negatively. A canonical URL resolves this issue by indicating that one specific page is the preferred webpage to index.


Why use a Canonical URL?

Using canonical URLs can positively impact the SEO of your website in several ways. Firstly, it eliminates duplicate pages and ensures that search engines don’t index the same page multiple times, which can lead to a higher ranking. Secondly, it helps maintain a consistent URL for your webpages, making it easier to manage and operate. Lastly, it provides a better user experience by allowing visitors to your website to navigate it without redundancy, thus improving your rankings and traffic.

How does it work?

Canonical URLs work by telling search engines about identical or similar content and indicating what page should be considered primary. It’s done by placing the canonical tag that defines the preferred URL that should be indexed by search engines. When the canonical tag is added to a webpage’s header, it eliminates confusion that arises from different versions of the same content. Once the search engines identify the preferred URL, they will display only that URL in their search index, leading to better rankings for your website.


Consider a scenario where you have two versions of the same webpage; and These pages have identical content, but their URLs are different. By setting the canonical URL properly, you can avoid the risk of being penalized by Google for having duplicate pages.

Common Questions and answers

Does having multiple pages with similar content negatively impact your website’s ranking?

Yes, it can have a negative impact on your rankings.

How do you determine which page to have the canonical tag linked to?

You can pick the page that has the most significant number of backlinks, social shares, or the one that gets the most traffic.

Canonical URLs are an essential aspect of SEO that can significantly impact your website’s ranking. They can help eliminate duplicate pages, ensure consistency in your URLs, and provide a better user experience. By understanding what canonical URLs are, why you need them, and how they work, you can optimize your website for search engines and stay ahead of your competitors. Going forward, make sure to implement canonical URLs in your SEO strategy, and you’ll surely see better results in a short period.