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All about canonical tags.

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Canonical Tags Dos and Don’ts

When you have identical or near-identical pages on multiple URLs, canonical tags communicate to search engines which page to rank by pointing the tag(s) from the duplicates to the original.

  • Do ensure that the canonical tag points from the duplicate pages to the original page.
  • Do consider using canonical tags when it makes sense to indicate the preferred version to search engines.
  • Do use absolute URLs in canonical tags to help search engines recognize them.
  • Do monitor Google Search Console for reports of canonical tag overrides and fix duplication issues promptly.
  • Don’t rely solely on canonical tags to correct duplicate content issues; it’s just a hint to search engines.
  • Don’t use canonical tags when there is no duplicate content; they are meant for handling duplicate content situations.
  • Don’t assume that Google will always follow the canonical tag; Google may prioritize other signals in some cases.
  • Don’t misuse canonical tags to redirect link equity from one page to another if there’s no duplicate content.
  • Don’t overlook other signals like internal links, XML sitemaps, encryption, and content quality, which can influence search engines’ choice of the canonical URL.

Read more at Practical Ecommerce.

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