What is a Canonical Tag?

Dennis Benjak



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The Canonical Tag (Canonical URL Tag) helps Google and other search engines understand which pages have original content and which pages are duplicates. This will determine the correct authority and classification of the original content without penalizing that site for a duplicate elsewhere.

The canonical tag is placed both in the <head> section of the original page and on the page with the duplicated content. It will look like this:<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://blog.beispiel.com/kleider/gelbe-kleider-sind-der-neue-trend” />

Why do I need a Canonical Tag?

Although you should generally avoid duplicate content, in some cases it can actually be useful. Typically, this is content distribution where you promote portions of your published content on other sites to bring more readers back to your original site.

The canonical tag can be an important part of letting Google know that the second page is a duplicate and the first is the original. Without the tag, Google may penalize one or both pages for duplicate content. The search engine wants to provide its users with an optimal user experience and knows that duplicate content can diminish that experience.

What can I achieve through the Canonical Tag?

Let’s say we’re conducting a small study on a website where the Canonical tags were intentionally set incorrectly and analyzing what happens when we set the canonical URLs correctly.

This allows the site to make improvements to

  • the calls,
  • the traffic rates,
  • the number of ranked keywords
  • and the ranking of these keywords.

The results were quick and immediate, showing the importance of the tag in telling Google which pages have the original content.The Canonical tag is an important part of letting Google know which site is the original (and should be classified as such) and which pages should be disregarded.Without this tag, Google doesn’t know, so to speak. This lowers the ranking of your website. If you have duplicate content on the web, you should use the canonical tag to avoid demotions in your rankings.


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