Solve Duplicate Content Issue With Canonical Tag
Canonical URLs have always been a serious concern for most webmasters and SEO . Though solutions like 301 redirection of canonical URLs have been suggested time and again it is not really the easiest to implement and particularly for SEO s who are not highly tech savvy.
Google earlier has provided the option by which you can indicate which version of your website URL ( www or non www ) would you like them to show but that was not a complete solution for canonical issues.
If your site has identical or almost similar content on multiple pages you can indicate one of these URLs as the canonical URL for the search engines to display. This can be now done by simply adding the tag to the preferred version, inside the section of the duplicate content URLs.
For example, if you have the following URLs with same content..
You would obviously like the search engines to consider the URL
For this, all you have to do is add the following tag within theof the other pages. This would be good enough for the search engines to understand that all the duplicate URLs refer to the canonical URL and accordingly Google would transfer PR and additional URL properties to the preferred URL.A few points that you must keep in mind while using this canonical tag :
- This works only internally and not across domains
- Search engines treat this in a fashion similar to a 301 redirection, so you better be careful while using it.
- Google mentions that “canonical” is a hint and not a directive, so they are not bound to abide by this.
For those of you using WordPress, Drupal or Magento Joost has already created a plug in for this tag.