Now that you know what exactly Canonicalization means, you can move forward on the topic and see when should you use it. Because there are many more cases other than the two I have mentioned in the examples above.
Here are a few conditions that can be prevented with proper URL Canonicalization.
- Different URL for one same content
- Various various categories and tags that result in same content
- Mobile website displaying same content but on different URL/subdomain
- URLs having HTTP and HTTPS URLs and both resulting in same content
- Various ports
- When website has a www and a non-www version
- In case of sharing syndicated content
These are some major conditions in which we can apply URL Canonicalization to save our site from facing any kind of duplicate content penalty.
This is when you should NOT perform URL Canonicalization!
There are scenarios in which we should not perform URL Canonicalization, and this section of this post is targeted towards specifying these particular conditions. You can also consider these as errors when it comes to URL Canonicalization. Let me list these one by one. I will try to explain most of them in a really simple manner.
Skip pagination canonicalization
If you are planning to canonicalize paginated URLs, then you should know that this is a very bad idea. You should not add a canonicalization tag on the second page of a URL as that URL will not be indexed at all by Google.
Multiple Canonical tags are bad
If a web page has multiple rel=”canonical” tags, then it can be really harmful to you. Make one specific tag and make it clear which one you prefer.
I have seen that many people apply the Canonical tag like this:
<link rel=”canonical” href=”index.php”>
This style of canonicalization is an invitation to a lot of errors. You need to understand that the more complete your canonical markup is, the better it will be for you and your content.
<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://thewebpage.org/index.php”>
The concept of onsite SEO is much bigger than what you imagine it to be. You need to take care of many things at once, and you also need to keep yourself updated with the changes that take place in everyday time.
This post was a post for showing how you can apply Canonical URLs on a website. Keep in mind that Canonicalization is a delicate process and if done in a wrong manner, it can harm your website. Keep your website in check and make sure you perform Canonicalization properly.