Learn how to Rank Well with Canonical Tag avoiding Duplicate Content, aiming to reach the top positions in the search engines Now!

The Canonical Tag which is placed within the “head” tag, tells search engine bots which page is the primary one in case of duplicate content, an important factor for page rankings.

You may wonder how duplicate content can interfere with your page ranking. The answer is: search engines have the criterion in the ranking of the search result called “evergreen content” (new content). If you copy the contents of a page on the internet you will not compete for a place in the ranking of the search result, and it is quite likely that your page containing duplicate third-party content will not even appear in the search results, as it’s most common.

google omitted results

In the image above, Google displays an alert stating that some pages have been omitted from the search results, and only displays pages that have copied content if you click on the link and it resets the result including the omitted pages. This warning is displayed on the last page of the search results, which in this case, according to my search, was number 18. By allowing omitted results to be displayed the number of search result pages jumped to 36.

Getting back to the canonical .. Let see the structure below:

<head>
<link rel=”canonical” href=”main-url.html” />
</head>

Search engines can interpret duplicate pages in the following ways:

www.scriptcase.net
www.scriptcase.net/
www.scriptcase.net/index.php
scriptcase.net
scriptcase.net/
scriptcase.net/index.php

Each url above has the same content by referencing the same file, the “index.php”. Since there are several paths (“urls”) that point to the same location on your server (the same file “index.php”), these various paths are each considered a different page with the same content, generating the content double.

“But would searchers crawl all link variations just to imply?”
Well let’s suppose some blogger, some website .. someone, post on some webpage your link in any of the ways quoted above. All of them would obviously take the Scriptcase page, the point is that as soon as Google indexes the page that linked to your site it will index this link as a new page with the same content as yours, even if it is in the same domain It would consider duplicate content.

And not only that, the parameters used in a purchase or search for example, can generate duplicate content. For example, we have a section that has a variable:

www.scriptcase.com.br/comprar.php?compraragora=45451211ckt122
www.scriptcase.com.br/comprar.php?compraragora=14787874ckt123

This section has a main link and receives programming parameters that may be necessary to identify the user, save at what point of the transaction it is if it is already in the checkout .. So to avoid duplicate content we should put the canonical tag this way:

<head>
<link rel=”canonical” href=”www.scriptcase.net/buy.php” />
</head>

Another example can be found in an e-commerce in a mobile search of different colors, where regardless of color the search result shows the same information, varying only the color information:

www.myecommerce.net/product.php?=mobile&yellow
www.myuecommerce.net/product.php?=mobile&red

So the canonical tag must be:

<head>
<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.myecommerce.net/product.php?=mobile” />
</head>

Other ways to tell the search engine the main version of the page with the content can be:

  • Link your site internally consistently, always providing the same link (with precisely the same characters) to take the section.
  • The sitemap.xml that indicates in a file which are all the links of your site, so the thefts would take into account the link that is listed here.
    Differences between 301 Redirect and Canonical tag

The redirect 301 is different from the canonical tag because it forces the browser to redirect one page to another, taking with it all the merits regarding the ranking of the same. The canonical tag only transfers the merits to the page indicated as primary, it does not redirect.

With a better place in search engine rankings your product gets closer to your customer, so Search engine optimization (SEO) is indispensable for anyone who wants to do business online, especially developers who sell software through the web. Get to know Scriptcase9 and learn how to develop PHP programs faster from the iterative and incremental software development model that emphasizes a short development click (RAD).

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