With a Canonical Element, you can specify to search engines that certain URLs or websites are similar. By using SEO canonicalization, you can have content or products on multiple websites or URLs and not harm the rankings of your website. SEO canonicalization is a way of linking different websites or URLs with similar content to prevent the issues of having duplicate content. The worst case of creating duplicate sites or URLs is not having them displayed on the internet. This is because search engines tend to discard them since they can’t depict which one of the sites is the main source.
The Canonical Element:
It was in the year 2009 Bing, Yahoo! and Google published the rel=canonical element; just to give a brief history of it. The concept is simple enough, but the implementation is where complexity sets in.
Another term for the canonical element is ‘Canonical Link.’ The term is an HTML file created to assist website owners in avoiding the problems of having multiple content or products. The canonical link does this by helping search engines to identify which one the URLs is the main source. The main source can be regarded as the ‘canonical URL.’ Employing the use of a canonical link will enhance your website’s SEO.
For the concept, all you have to do is assign the canonical link to one of the duplicate URLs. This will tell the various search engines which one of the duplicates is the canonical version. When this is done, search engines will be able to display the canonical link version of your content in the suggested websites.
To enhance the search engine optimization of your website, there is a need to select a proper canonical link for each set of related URLs. This will allow search engines to link all the URLs that are related to the canonical URL since it’s already identified by the search engines. The concept of setting a canonical link is similar to that of a 301 redirect, excluding the fact that the canonical link doesn’t support redirecting.
The SEO Factor:
SEO is an important factor in any website, whether it is a business or personal website. Your website has to be SEO supported to have it on top rankings. So many users of search engines are more likely to select the first five or six-page suggestions offered to them by the search engine. If the search engine does not recognize your website, it won’t be anywhere close to the first five or six suggestions that will be displayed. Implementing the use of SEO canonicalization will prevent any search engine from discarding your website due to multiple products.
With an SEO supported website, your website users will be thrilled by the experience they will get. Searched keywords can as well bring your website to the top positions and increase the users’ trust for your website. This is what every website owner desires; drawing traffic to their website. But having several contents on different URLs may thwart this. This is another reason why implementing SEO canonicalization is important.
Big websites (i.e., websites with over one author) that are SEO supported can run without hitches. There are both direct and indirect benefits of SEO for such websites. One direct benefit has more search engine traffic. An indirect benefit has samples to use before content publication on the website. You will be eluded such benefits if you are running your content on multiple websites or URLs. This surely brings about the need for a canonical link in the sites or URLs.
As a website owner, you will want to advertise your products or content on several social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network. You can’t possibly get such information across to as many people as you would want to. The search engine users who can locate your website are the ones who will share it across several social media. But how can they do this when they can’t find your website? The canonical link in your sites or URLs will take care of such an issue. It will help search engines to see multiple sites or URLs as one.
Do you want to be ahead in the online competition? An SEO supported website will help you do just that. An SEO website puts you ahead of people who sell similar products to yours, thereby creating a chance for you to have more sales.
Read also: How Website Accessibility Impact your SEO?
Relating a Canonical Link Element with a 301 Redirect:
The concept of the canonical link element is almost like that of the 301 redirects. While the canonical URL allows the various search engines to see duplicate sites or URLs as one, the 301 redirects, as the name implies, will send web visitors to another site. This is the major dissimilarity between these two tags. The 301 redirect takes every bot, traffic and human web visitor to a different page. The canonical link is basically for search engines. It tells the search engines which one of the multiple sites is the most preferred.
It is vital to know when to implement the canonical link element. One could be a bit puzzled when it comes to this aspect. It is proper to use the canonical link when you realize that doing a 301 redirect will be detrimental to the experience the users will get.
Having multiple URLs or web pages can hinder your sites from displaying in the result suggestions provided by the various search engines. Many search engines can’t depict which URL is the source form multiple URLs and will end up discarding them. You can prevent this from occurring by implementing the use of a canonical link element. SEO canonicalization is a way of linking different websites or URLs with similar content to prevent the issues of having duplicate content. To tool is powerful enough to bring about improvements in your website’s SEO.