Ladies and gents, it’s time to talk about the big guns of SEO: canonical tags. Think of these little babies as VIP passes to your website. They give search engines the lowdown on which pages are the most important and highlight these to them.
So, what exactly are canonical tags? They’re HTML tags that you can add to the header of your web pages to indicate which page is the “official” or preferred version of that page. Essentially, they tell search engines which page you want to be indexed and shown in the search results.
Why are canonical tags important for SEO? Well, sometimes your website might have multiple pages with similar content. This can be a problem for search engines, which may end up indexing multiple versions of the same page. Canonical tags help solve this problem by indicating which page is the preferred version that should be indexed.
Another scenario where canonical tags come in handy is when you have pages that can be accessed through multiple URLs. For example, your homepage may be accessible through both “www.example.com” and “example.com”. By using a canonical tag, you can specify which URL is the preferred one. This helps prevent search engines from splitting the link equity between multiple pages, which ultimately improves your SEO efforts.
So, how do you implement canonical tags on your website? It’s simple! Just add the following code to the header of your web pages:
<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.example.com/preferred-page/">
"https://www.example.com/preferred-page/" with the URL of the preferred version of the page.
And that’s it! You’ve just added a canonical tag to your page. Now, let’s talk about some best practices when it comes to using canonical tags. First and foremost, make sure the canonical tag points to the correct page. This means the page it’s pointing to should contain similar or identical content to the page it’s on.
It’s also important to note that canonical tags only provide hints to search engines and that they’re not guaranteed to be followed. This means that even if you have a canonical tag on a page, it may still be indexed by search engines if they determine that it’s important. So, be sure to use other methods, such as the “noindex” meta tag, to control which pages are indexed.
Another best practice is to avoid using a canonical tag to point to a page with a “404” error. This is because search engines may still crawl and index the page, even though it’s not accessible to users.
In conclusion, canonical tags help search engines determine which pages are the most important. By using canonical tags to indicate the preferred version of a page and to control which URL is indexed, you can improve your SEO efforts and ensure that search engines are showing the correct version of your pages in search results.
SEO is just one of the things we can assist with at Tomedia. Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can help your website to achieve SEO success and beyond.