Canonical Tag Definition & Meaning

What Is a Canonical Tag?

A canonical tag is a snippet of HTML code (rel=“canonical”) that’s added to a <link> element in the <head> section of a web page to inform search engines that another URL contains the master version of the content. Canonical tags are used to prevent duplicate (or near-duplicate) content issues.

Canonical tags are important because they inform search engines which URLs should be indexed when a website has different versions of the same web page. Canonical tags also consolidate link equity from duplicate (or near-duplicate) pages to the master version of the content.

Canonical tags include three elements:

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  • <link>
  • rel=”canonical”
  • HREF attribute

Here’s an example canonical tag:

<link rel="canonical" href="" />

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