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Understanding Canonical Element and Its Importance in SEO

Canonical element is a crucial factor in ensuring that your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) is effective. It is an HTML element that informs search engines which URL should be treated as the main or ‘canonical’ version of a page. Using canonical elements significantly reduces the risk of duplicate content and penalties from search engines. In this blog, we will discuss what canonical element is, why it is important, and how to use it.


Canonical element is a method to indicate to search engines the preferred URL for accessing a webpage. It is added to the head section of the HTML code of a webpage, and it contains the URL of the preferred page to be indexed. The canonical element tells web crawlers that the URL specified should be considered the definitive version of the page for the purpose of indexing by the search engine.

Why Use Canonical Element?

One of the main reasons to use the canonical element is to avoid duplicate content issues that negatively affect a website’s search engine rankings. Suppose a website has different URLs pointing to the same content, such as a blog post, product catalog, or category page. In that case, search engines will consider them as duplicates, resulting in a ranking penalty. Using a canonical element will help the search engine understand which URL is the primary one to focus indexation and avoid associated penalties.

Why is it Important Canonical Element?

Having duplicate content on a website can negatively impact SEO efforts by splitting link equity and producing confusing signals to search engines, leading to lower visibility in the search results. Canonicalization ensures that search engines can index and rank content more accurately, which can improve search results and traffic. Using canonical elements also makes it easier for website owners to manage their websites, particularly if they have large e-commerce websites with many different product pages.

How Does it Work?

The canonical element is included in the HTML head section of a webpage, giving search engines the information they need to identify the preferred URL of the page. This information is then used to consolidate links from other web pages pointing to the same content, thus removing the possibility of confusion while promoting the correct page in search results.


Suppose you have a website that has several versions of the same content. In that case, you can use a canonical URL to indicate which page content to index. For instance, if you have a blog post and it can be accessed from different URLs like and, you can use a canonical element to tell Google which URL to index. The selected URL will be listed only once in the index regardless of its various versions.

Common Questions and Answers:

Q. Is canonical element essential?
A. Yes. Using canonicalization is essential for larger websites with multiple versions of a single page. It helps search engines crawl the site faster and ensures the correct page is indexed.

Q. Does the canonical tag affect the ranking?
A. No, using a canonical tag alone will not affect the ranking of a page. Still, it helps keep the content consolidated and managed, making it easier for search engines to understand and improve the site’s indexing.

Q. Are canonical tags necessary for all web pages?
A. No, not all web pages need canonical tags. Such tags should only be used when there are multiple pages with the same content. Using a canonical tag when there is no need for one can result in incorrect indexing.

Canonical element is a powerful tool that webmasters can use to ensure good search engine optimization practices. Using canonical tags is essential for larger sites with multiple versions of a single URL to prevent negative impacts on SEO from duplicate content. The tag also makes managing a website easier, making it more streamlined and understandable to search engines. Follow the best practices of using canonical elements in your website’s code to help improve the site’s overall SEO efforts and avoid common pitfalls.