Canonical Link Best Practices

Having canonical links is an excellent way to avoid penalties for duplicate content on your website while ensuring that you keep all of the factors that help a page rank well from other same pages. Of course, having duplicate content on your website is usually not done intentionally, but it can happen even the best. We want you to know the best practices for canonical links and what to avoid when dealing with them. Through this helpful blog post, you should identify problems you may have on your site. Addressing these issues will ensure that only the original versions of your pages are indexed and ranked on Google while keeping inbound links. If you are unfamiliar with what canonical links are in the first place, be sure to read our last blog post on canonical links and what they mean for SEO to better understand them.

What to Do and Avoid: Canonical Linking

The rel=canonical tag quickly becomes one of the simplest ways to redirect search engines to your original page version while maintaining all your ranking factors from a duplicate page. Of course, your users can still visit and link to older pages. Still, when a search engine follows these links to duplicate pages, a canonical tag will inform them, “do not rank this page; rank this page over here instead, and I want all the authority of this duplicate page attributed to the original as well.” Building these links will keep search engines from getting confused when deciding which page to rank and which will help your rankings.

Canonical Linking vs. 301 Redirects: What’s The Difference?

Canonical links and 301 redirects do similar things. Unfortunately, a 301 redirect will not let someone find a duplicate or old version of a page. However, if you still want users to reach old versions of pages for any reason, then canonical links will help refer all the authority of the old page to the new one while still allowing users to reach old content.

Avoid No indexing Duplicate Content When You Can

According to Moz, while no indexing might be able to resolve a few duplicate content problems, it can create a whole bunch of other ones. Whenever you noindex a page, search engines will no longer be able to see that content. As a result, they will no longer be able to read any of the ranking signals from that page. This, in turn, means that any inbound links or shares of the duplicate page are lost instead of being contributed to the original page. You can avoid this by building canonical links or 301 redirects instead. They will help care for your duplicate content troubles while keeping all the valuable aspects of those extra pages.

Feel a Little Confused? Enlist Professional Help

If you’ve received the dreaded duplicate content or thin content warning on your site and you’re having trouble getting it fixed, then it’s time to call in some help. A professional SEO company can build your canonical links and 301 redirects, so you never have to worry about your rankings being harmed. With professional service, you can focus on running your business rather than chasing around google warnings.