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Canonical Tag – A Boon for Search Engine Optimisation

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In continuation with my last post, I will be talking of ways to handle self-created duplicate content on your website. The ‘canonical tag’ has proven to be the biggest boon for search engine optimisers who wish to eliminate such duplicate content and foster better SEO results.

Premier search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing have recently announced their support to the canonical tag, thereby making it easier for optimisers to handle content on their web pages. The canonical tag is, in essence, an HTML tag that tells search engine crawlers that a particular web page is the copy of another one.

The canonical tag has to be incorporated in the HTML header of a web page. It will look something like:

<link rel=“canonical” href=“ http://www.arrowinternet.com.au/seo-blog” />

By looking at this tag, search engine crawlers will treat this link as a copy of the URL www.searchenginerankings.com.au/seo-blog. Resultantly, all the link and content metrics applicable to a web page will technically flow back to that URL.

The Canonical URL tag is quite similar to a 301 redirect from a search engine optimisation perspective. It tells the search engines that multiple pages should be considered as one, without actually redirecting visitors to the new URL. This saves the time of your development staff, as they do not have to insert redirects everywhere; this is something optimisers can easily do at their end.

Moreover, this tag also boosts your SEO campaign by allowing you to optimise pages with duplicate content easily.

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