6 Best SEO Practices for using rel=canonical

The rel=canonical is an important part of your website structure when it comes to SEO. A couple of days ago, we shared some common mistakes people often make with rel=canonical attributes, knowing little that the consequences could be more than they bargained for. Anyhow, we discussed the mistakes before. Today, we are going to some best practices you should always try to follow when canonicalizing your pages.
The rel=canonical attribute is a way of letting search engines know that there is a canonical, or alternate version of the current page available somewhere else. The current page might have the same data as the original source, but organized differently (sorted, summarized, formatted etc). This reduces the risk of your site getting penalized for duplicate content. And search engines like it too, because it's one less page they have to crawl and index.

To help you make the best out of your rel=canonicals, here are some best SEO practices you should keep in mind.

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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  1. Good one qasib good one for those websites and blogs using too much duplicate content and hence penalized by google.brief more about how to add them in blogger it will be great help too for those website who crying for orgainc traffic.widget for blogger

  2. awesome tips Qasib,i have witnessed such penalized in the first six months of my blog.then found a solution and everything got corrected but the matter is i lost 6 months of traffic and could not figure out what the solution and reason is ! you did a good job by writing this post so that someone facing the same problem will find a solution before google steals all of his traffic.Best of shayari

  3. Thanks Bro we have learned so much in this article. today you have explained very well. although we have never use this attribute in our blog. Thanks Qasim... Special Thanks to Mohammad Mustafa Bhai The Guru of Blogger Platform we proud of him. but nowadays ( His visited or few and for between ) why?. i have used Idioms in brackets.

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  4. Very nice SEO practises for using rel=canonical. Thanks a lot Qasim Zaib.

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  5. Nice one bro Quasim, it's necessary knowing it really means before trying to implement on site(s)Blogger Tips And Tricks | Make Money Online Blogging... Thanks for sharing

  6. Hello sir, I got you by Google search.
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  7. i Learn Many things in this post.Thanks Qasim Zaib for Sharing this helful post.

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  8. Great tips, Qasim!
    For SEOs, canonicalization refers to individual web pages that can be loaded from multiple URLs. This is a problem because when multiple pages have the same content but different URLs, links that are intended to go to the same page get split up among multiple URLs. This means that the popularity of the pages gets split up.

    Btw, if you need "The New Version Of SEO Starter Guide 2013", go to : http://topspot-official.blogspot.com/2013/04/Google-Telah-Menerbitkan-Versi-Terbaru-Panduan-Pengoptimalan-Mesin-Telusur-atau-SEO-Starter-Guide.html. Thank you so much! :)

  9. Very necessary tips. The site is really helpful. I have learnt mant things from you. Just sharing How to seo blogger blog

  10. @Daniel Benny Simanjuntakthank you for your input. We did share the latest version of the started guide on our blog a few days ago

  11. Thank you!
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  12. Nice post Qasim Thanks for Sharing this helpful post ... !!

  13. thank you so much for the great post.. its very useful for me :)

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  16. Brother, information that you have provided about canonicalization is great but, I am running

    == http://mobile-movies1.blogspot.com ==

    I am facing problem that for all of my posts there is only one head section. so how can I use rel="canonical" for each individual post, as I saw in MBT's page sources.

    I really need your help brother please reply me, so I will be able to fix this problem.. PLZ PLZ..