6 SEO practices for using rel=canonical
- Don't canonicalize unless the duplication is large - Do not add rel=canonical unless there's a large portion of duplicated content. Similar topics with closely matching, but not exactly matching content do not qualify. A good litmus test would be looking at the pages from the perspective of someone who doesn't know that language. If someone without knowledge of that language can tell if the two pages have same content, then you probably should canonicalize them.
- Only use one rel=canonical per page. You can't point to multiple source pages. Rel=canonicals that come after the first one are ignored.
- Decide which URL you want to show - You can make either of the pages appear in search results. But make sure you make the correct association, and not add a rel=canonical on the original page.
- Make sure that the target to your canonical doesn't lead to a 404 page.
- The original page must not contain a "noindex" tag.
- Include in the head - Make sure you place the rel=canonical in the <head> section of your site. If it comes in the body, it will simply be ignored.
Hope these best practices will help you out, and make you use rel=canonicals better. If you have questions, shoot them our way! Cheers :)
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