Canonicals are used to tell the search engine that you have more than one version of the same web page, and which should be indexed. The canonical tells the search engine which page has priority. This helps Google figure out how to display pages without causing duplicate content penalties.
For example, say you own two websites: www . website1 . com www . website2 . com You make sure both sites are exactly the same except for their URLs (i.e., they’re mirror sites). Now, say someone searches on Google for your site -they’re talking about either of your two versions of your blog or website- but Google indexes only one URL; let’s say it’s www.website1.com .
Instead of showing the user a result that comes from just one site, you want Google to show them both website versions when they search on either URL (“website1” or “website2″). To make this happen, add a rel=”canonical” link to the page with the preferred version of your content.
So for our example: www . website1 . com / blog/ post-a -new-article www . website2 . com / blog/ post-a -new-article Add a canonical link from the non-preferred version (i.e., www . website2 . com) to the preferred version (i.e., www . website1 . com) : www . website2 . com / blog/ post-a -new-article rel = “canonical” href = “http://www.website1.com/blog/post-a-new-article”
Now, when people search for your site, Google will show both versions in the results. However , it’s important to note that Google will only show one version in the search results. Which version they choose depends on several factors, including each site’s link popularity and which they think is more relevant to the person looking for it.
As you can see adding a canonical in seo is very helpful in this situation, as it will tell Google which version to show from the two.
Why Is A Canonical Link Good For Search Engines?
Canonicals are good for search engines because it tells them which version of your content you think is best. If one version of your website were to start getting more traffic than the other, you can set a canonical link from that page to the less popular version.
What Should I Do If I Have Multiple Pages With Very Similar Content?
If you don’t want to use a canonical link. You can use the robots.txt to block crawling of unwanted versions of your site. This will still allow people to see these pages in their search results. But not in the index for which Google crawls.
When should I use “Noindex” versus “canonical”? You don’t have to choose between using them or not, you can use both. It’s best to have one canonical link on the page that points to another, then use noindex on the other version(s) of your content.
What are some disadvantages of using canonicals? ThCanonicale biggest disadvantage is when the noindex robots meta tag has been placed incorrectly on a page which will cause Google not to index it.
Google has announced that you no longer need to use the rel=canonical tag. They will now handle this for you, however some websites still find it useful.
There are many ways of using Canonical but this is just one example of how they can be used. It’s important to note that you don’t need to use a canonical for every page on your website. You should only use it when it makes sense.