Canonical tag: what it is, how important it is to SEO and how to use it

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The canonical tag, or canonical tag, has a simple goal: in case of duplicate content, it indicates that the main thing for search engines. The feature is useful when pages have small differences.


Who works with Digital Marketing often need to know some technical concepts that seem complicated. This is most evident in areas such as SEO , where there are a number of details that make the difference.

An item of great importance for Google is the canonical tag. To know more about the application it can make a difference in the volume of traffic that your business attracts via organic search.

What is it and how to use the canonical tag

The canonical tag, or canonical tag, has a simple goal: in case of duplicate content, it indicates that the main thing for search engines. This is useful when pages have small differences.

To illustrate, imagine that you create a paid media or on social networks .

Because the pages are very similar, you can choose one to be the main, using the canonical tag to point to the other, as in the image:

Canonical Tag

With this, search engines understand that this is only one version of another page and end up transferring the authority to the main page.

Some Digital Marketing tools can make this appointment simply. See the example below of a configuration screen Landing Pages of the RD Station Marketing .

Canonical Tag

Another case that happens a lot is the color of a product. The product name, description, features, category, everything on the page is the same. The only exception is usually a picture or a minimum piece of text.

In this case, the recommendation is to choose a color, and the other, indicate the canonical tag which is page (color) Main.

In many sites, the address also reflects the user’s navigation and this can create duplicate content (and diluted authority).

Two different paths can lead to a page of the same contents:

In this case the canonical tag to one of the options also solves.

Many developers or plugins configure the site to use the canonical self, in which each page when not included a specific tag for your main canonical version, makes the appointment for herself, as in the Digital blog results:

Canonical Tag

This practice is not mandatory, but indicated by Google , as it gets more clear to search engines what the page that you really want to index.

Remember that Google can already interpret canonical tags between different domains . So you can point to .

Differences between canonical tag and redirection

The canonical tag and redirects such as 301, may sound very similar, but there are some differences between them.

First, in the case of canonical tag, search engines only give the authority to the reference page if you understand that the version is actually similar and that the tag makes sense.

In addition, the pages that lead to the main remain accessible to the user, unlike the redirect.

To learn more about it, read the post What is Redirect 301 and he is a good friend of Marketing professional .

What not to do with the canonical tag

What we recommend that you not done in terms of Canonical Tag is trying to manipulate Google.

Just do redirects and use of Canonical tags to pages that actually have a relationship with each other, that is, the content is equal to or a good substitute.

Google has been getting better in understanding manipulative intentions and this practice can hurt more than help.

It is important to make a good page redirection , and correctly use the Canonical Tag, but there are many other SEO activities to optimize your site. To keep learning, free download SEO Guide and find out everything you need to stay on the first page of Google and drive more qualified visitors.