Why URL Canonicalization matter and how to do it?

This tutorial will explain URL Canonicalization and how to use it properly. It is good idea to use URL Canonicalization for each page. Search engines hate duplicate content and down rank your website and blogs, whether it happens knowingly or unknowingly. Across the web, discussion often happens around various SEO techniques for websites and blogs. One of these is Canonical URL or Canalization of URL.

What is a Canonical URL or Canalization of URL?

A Canonical URL is something that search engine like; it’s the URL of a web page that you want to show to search engine as well as your audience. For example for this page the url is www.discussdesk.com/why-url-canonicalization-matter-and-how-to-do-it.htm I want to index this URL on search directories and to display in address bar zone of internet browsers. More often, people take following types of URL as same

www.discussdesk.com

discussdesk.com

www.discussdesk.com/index.html

discussdesk.com/index.php

However, from a search engine prospective, all above cases are different. If happens, search engine will treat all above URLs holding same content as duplicate URL / pages. This is why we need to pick the best URL to show to search engine and readers and that best URL is called Canonical URL.

How to make use of canonical url?

Suppose you have two urls holding same content. Pick the one that you think is best to show to search engine and audience. Now the remaining other page is non-canonical. Add a rel=canonical link from the non canonical to canonical page like this:

<link rel="canonical" herf="http://www.discussdesk.com/how-to-upgrade-pc-from-windows-7-or-8-to-windows-10.htm"/>

So what does a canonical tag really does? What are its benefits?

A canonical tag helps search engines in finding the best url of your pages, thereby treating other pages as non-canonical and thus prevents your websites and blogs from getting down ranked or completely blocked. Suppose you have two urls holding same content, of which one you pointed as canonical and other non-canonical, the search would understand it, and won’t treat other pages as duplicate content. By making use of canonical tags you can make a fully Search Engine Optimized website and stay ahead of your competitors. 

Canonicalization for website and mobile website?

Search engine does not treat Website URL and Mobile Website URL as duplicate content. However, you need to tell it corresponding mobile pages of a website. Here is how to do this?

Suppose website url is http://www.discussdesk.com/advertise-with-us.htm

Add to the above in html of your page

<link rel="alternate" media="only screen and (max-width: 640px)" href="http://www.discussdesk.com/advertise-with-us.htm">

And on the corresponding mobile page http://www.discussdesk.com/advertise-with-us.htm

Add following string

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.discussdesk.com/advertise-with-us.htm">

Hope now you understand Canonicalization of URL and its benefits. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me via comment box below.

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