Showing posts with label Canonical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canonical. Show all posts

Friday, August 25, 2017

What Are Canonical URLs and Why Should You Use Them?

What Are Canonical URLs and Why Should You Use Them?

Canonical URL’s are a relatively new term which refer to the new ability of a webmaster to let search engines such as Google and Yahoo know which is the best version of a web page to index using a meta tag. This not only enables webmasters to suggest a recommended version of the page but it can also help to decrease the risk of being penalized for duplicate content when the same page reflects almost identical content. You can use canonical URL’s when you create your free website or when you create blog websites.


What are Canonical URL’s?


When you create your free website you should include some meta tags. One of these meta tags can be the canonical meta tag which will tell search engines which version of your web page it should index. If, for example, you have a web page that displays search results in different orders then you could have the search engines reflect the alphabetical listing as the canonical URL. You could also specify canonical URL’s when you create blog websites to let the search engines know which version of your blog you want visitors to find.


Canonical URL’s and the Duplicate Content Problem


A while back search engines started penalizing websites for displaying duplicate content. In some situations this was important or relevant as it helped to prevent problems with plagiarism but in other cases it could cause problems when web pages were deliberately virtual copies of one another – such as displaying the same content in different manners for the benefit of the reader. Fortunately, if you have duplicate content on your free website that is legitimately there you can now use the canonical meta tag to let search engines know that you are not committing plagiarism but that this content is there for a reason and which version of the page you would like visitors to see by default.


When to Use Canonical URL’s


There are a number of different occasions when search engines may pick up duplicate or almost duplicate content on your website, thereby making canonical URL appropriate. Some of these occasions are:


When you are using a tracking id or are going to be using affiliate links to promote your web page with different versions of the same page for affiliates.


When a category page is almost identical to the main page.


When a page can be sorted in a number of different ways such as alphabetically, by price, etc.


When determining whether you should use a canonical URL think about how your page may be called. If it is a static page with only one way of obtaining that information and there is no other page with very similar content then you may get away with not using the canonical URL meta tag. If you have a dynamic page or any other page on your free website contains very similar information or duplicate content or if you are going to be using tracking and session id’s when you call the page then it is best to use the canonical URL meta tag.


Canonical URL’s help search engines to determine whether a website really does contain duplicate content and the reason for it. By specifying those pages on your website that are likely to have duplicate content or very similar content to a base page you can avoid being penalized for duplicate content. Use this whenever you have dynamic pages on your free website as well as when you create blog websites.


Maria Wixman Website Builder by WIX.com I have been in the online marketing industry for over two years and love all things related to e-marketing, writing for the web, SEO and SEM. I've been working for a large company that specializes in web design, and love how dynamic this field is - I am constantly learning new strategies and concepts as the world of online marketing evolves.




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