You might be thinking about the canonical tag and how it relates to SEO and your website. It is important to understand the reason for this tag. When you have more than one page with the same content, a search engine crawler does not know how to prioritise. It will often choose the wrong page as most important or split query results between the two. Both of these can be disastrous. So that is why it is imperative that you look into ensuring that the canonical tag that you have is working at 100% efficiency. It can make the difference between having a successful SEO campaign and wasting your money.
What Is a Canonical Tag? It helps with duplicate content.
It is natural that there would be duplicate information across websites. That is just how things are sometimes as many businesses are trying to get a similar message across (mostly with tags or sayings or mottos). The problem arises when Google comes searching for those pages and actively looks for duplicate content. It struggles to find which page is the original source content and will either a) punish the site for having copied information, or b) weakens the search rankings because it doesn’t know what is what.
How Does It Work? It sends a signal to Google that it is the original content.
This is where the canonical tags come to the fore. They are used to declare which page is the home of the “original” content, aka: the source. This is used in the reference to the URL that you are using for that page. This will send a signal out to Google that this is the original source, and this will avoid any problems that you have with duplicate content. The canonical URL tag should be used whenever there is more than one of the same page. In addition, you should avoid giving contradictory canonical tags–that is, marking two of the same page with the tag–because this negates the benefit of the tag. Google will recognise it as the source URL and will not punish you in any way.
What Does It Have To Do With SEO? Everything…as it can impact it in a negative way.
As we mentioned previously: Google and other search engines do not take to kindly to seeing copied content across websites. To them, it looks like you are potentially “keyword stuffing” (the action of overloading your page with keywords so that you get a higher rank and bring in more users). If Google does pick up that there is duplicate content on the website, it will punish you by dropping your rankings on its search engine. What does that have to do with your SEO?
Well, everything really. The aim of your SEO is to get a higher ranking on search engines like Google. The higher you rank, the more leads you get, the bigger branding you establish and the large audience you reach out to. So when it comes to your canonical tags in your URL, getting it right can have a massive impact on your SEO campaign.
Look To Canonical Tags To Help Your Campaign
So if you are looking to manage your duplicate content on your website, as well as ensuring that your SEO campaign is running at its premium best, then you have to look to maximise your canonical tags.