What is rel= canonical? How to resolve canonical issue?


In past few months, I was assigned to evaluate numerous SEO techniques and some complex technical audits of company’s websites. I really enjoyed the work and hoping more to perform such challenging SEO jobs such as different technical analysis, keyword research, competitor research, digging website’s link authority and figuring out the position of website over SERP’s.

Well, that’s why I love to do SEO, because it seems like a riddle which I have to solve in specific time period. This is a biggest reason many people prefer not doing SEO by their self because they think they are not able to perform such challenging job, and take affordable SEO services for handling all technical issues. One of the technical issues popping over & over is rel- canonicalization. So today I am going to write my first blog post on this disturbing issue.


Being using one of the most difficult and complicated words which are hard to write and pronounce, I would simply define canonicalization as:

‘A process of using best URL’s when you have numerous options to choose.’

People who have little know how about SEO and internet marketing world, must know the fact that web pages have more than one URL for that same web page, for example;

  • https://www.seofalcons.com
  • https://seofalcons.com (notice the URL without the addition of 3 w’s)

Now both these URL’s will open the same homepage, there are some other versions too that will open the same page but with additional parameters like /index.php or home.php, so potentially you could simply have more than 7 URL’s that could open the same home page, but the problem is, it would be difficult for search engine to index the site, because it would indicate the error of duplicated content and it will get confuse about which URL is required to open.


Ideas to resolve:

Here are two ways which are basically used to resolve the issue:

  1. Rel= Canonical and its implementation:

Recently Google has announced canonical tagor rel canonical that will let you specify in HTML header that the URL you have entered should be treated as a “copy”, and will name the canonical URL that the link authority and all content metrics must flow back. After that the link would tell all the search engines that they must index the canonical URL tag.

HTML header of the page: http://www.snsdigital.net/index.php here is a parameter like this

<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.snsdigital.net/” />

  1. 301 Redirects Implementation:

301 is basically a permanent redirect that is from one to another URL. When we use 301 redirects, it will carry a link authority from one to other URL, even if it is from some different domain. As compared to canonical tag, 301 redirects is quite hard to implement because you are required to create an htaccess file that is probably rooted over the roots of server.

Make sure the sites URL is organized and carefully redirected, because one canonical URL and all other URLs will be redirected to 301 or rel=canonical tag. That has a BIG impact on SEO results.


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