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What is Canonical page?

by semseogurus

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A canonical page is that page in your website that is identical to many other pages of your website however it is your preferred most page from the set of similar pages. E.g. - If you have an ecommerce website with same products in two different categories, so for you the canonical page is the one which you feel is more important and draws more business.

It is important to specify a canonical page because it is very common for websites to have similar web pages. This is more common in case of ecommerce websites where same products are shown in several other pages.

The benefit of tagging a page as canonical page is that even if your website has multiple similar pages, search engines will index only the canonical page in their search results. This helps the webmaster to be worry free from duplicate page issues. If you do not specify the page as canonical page, search engines will itself decide which page to be shown inthe search queries. This is definitely not a good option as you might lose out your top page in search results.

How to tag a page as canonical page?

You can specify a canonical page to search engines by following these steps:-
This piece of code will suggest search engines that out of all the similar pages, this page is the most preferred and to prioritize it in search results.1. Add "link" element with attribute rel="canonical" in the "head" of the non-canonical pages.

How to specify a canonical URL?

You can specify a canonical URL in two ways:

1. Add a rel="canonical" link to the "head" of all the non-canonical pages.
E.g. - For
The implementation will be as -
link rel="canonical" rel="nofollow" onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackPageview', '/outgoing/article_exit_link/6549276']);" href="website_name"
Now copy this link into the head section of all the non- canonical pages [all similar looking pages]
If you publish content on both pages, you can simply specify the canonical version of the page. Create the "link" element:
link rel="canonical" rel="nofollow" onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackPageview', '/outgoing/article_exit_link/6549276']);" href="website_name"
Add this link to the "head" section of page – website_name

2. Indicate the canonical version of a URL by responding with rel="canonical" HTTP header. Adding rel="canonical" to the head section of a page is useful for HTML content, but it can't be used for PDFs and other files indexed by search engines. In these cases you can indicate a canonical URL by responding with link rel= "canonical" HTTP header. However to use this option you will have to configure your server.

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