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Healthcare Marketing Glossary

Canonical Tag

A canonical tag (rel=“canonical”) is a snippet of HTML code that defines the main version for duplicate, near-duplicate and similar pages....

What is a Canonical Tag? 

A canonical tag (also known as “rel=canonical”) is an HTML element that helps webmasters control which URLs should be indexed by search engines. It essentially tells search engines which version of a URL should be used when indexing content. This helps avoid duplicate content issues in search engine results pages (SERPs). For example, if you have multiple versions of the same page on your website—such as one with the www prefix and one without—you can use the canonical tag to let search engines know which version should be indexed. 

Why Is It Important for SEO? 

Using the canonical tag can help improve your website’s SEO by ensuring that all versions of your URLs are being properly indexed by search engines. As mentioned above, if you have multiple versions of the same page on your site, using a canonical tag can help ensure that only one version of the page gets indexed. This prevents any potential problems with duplicate content, which could lead to lower rankings or even get your site penalized by search engines. 

When Should You Use a Canonical Tag? 

You should use a canonical tag whenever there are multiple URLs on your website that contain similar or identical content. This could include pages like product pages with different parameters in the URL (e.g., color or size), sorting options on category pages, paginated archives, and more. By adding a canonical tag to these pages, you can make sure that none of them are counted as duplicate content by search engines. 

How Can I Use It To Improve My Website’s Search Rankings? 

To use the canonical tag to improve your website’s search engine rankings, you need to ensure that all versions of your webpages point back to one main URL using the rel=”canonical” link attribute. This tells search engines which version should be used when indexing content from your website. You can also tell Google about any duplicate versions of pages using Search Console or 301 redirects so that they are not indexed at all. Finally, make sure all internal links point back to the main URL version as well so that there is no confusion among visitors or search engine crawlers

Canonical tags are an essential part of any SEO strategy because they help ensure that only one version of each page on your website gets indexed by search engines like Google. By setting up canonical tags correctly and avoiding duplicate content issues, you can improve your website’s overall visibility and ranking in SERPs and get more organic traffic from interested customers!

Canonical Tags FAQ

What is a canonical tag?

A canonical tag is an HTML tag that helps to prevent duplicate content issues on a website. It tells search engines which version of a webpage should be considered the “original” or “preferred” version. By using a canonical tag, you can indicate to search engines which page you want to be indexed, and which pages should be ignored.

How do I use a canonical tag?

A canonical tag is typically added to the head section of a webpage, and it has the following format: <link rel="canonical" href="https://www.example.com/preferred-page/" /> The “href” attribute contains the URL of the preferred or original page. This tag can be added to the HTML of a page or through the HTTP header.

When should I use a canonical tag?

A canonical tag should be used whenever there is duplicate content on your website, such as duplicate pages, or similar pages with slight differences. By using a canonical tag, you can ensure that search engines index and rank the correct version of your page.

Are there any limitations to using canonical tags?

Using canonical tags can help to prevent duplicate content issues, but it does not guarantee that search engines will always follow the tag. Additionally, using a canonical tag only applies to the single page, it does not apply to the entire site and it does not prevent from indexing the duplicate content. It’s also important to keep in mind that canonical tags do not transfer any link equity, so it’s recommended to also use 301 redirects.

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