April 17, 2018
Topics: Content Marketing, SEO, Inbound Marketing
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April 17, 2018
Canonical tags seem to stir up a lot of confusion for the not-so-technical marketers. What do canonical tags accomplish? When should you use them? Why does Moz Pro have an entire section dedicated to missing canonical tags and how do we fix them? Hopefully, this article helps clear things up!
A canonical tag tells search engines what page it should display in search results. This means that if you have two pages with duplicate content, adding a canonical tag will tell the search engine which is the master copy and what page is the clone/duplicate. To put it simply, let’s say you have page A and page B, which has duplicate or very similar content. You want page A to be the master page, and you want to let search engines know that page B is the copy and shouldn’t appear in search results so that all of the traffic and SEO juice will be pushed to page A. Adding a canonical tag to page B will accomplish this.
This is where this topic seems to become a little gray. A lot of SEO experts have their own views and opinions on this, and it’s not quite clear what strategy is 100 percent without a doubt the best to take, but to simplify the answer, I’ve compiled the most common scenarios where the use of a canonical tag could be beneficial to your site and overall SEO.
There are several ways to add canonical tags and a lot of that will depend on what you’re using to host your site and ultimately what you or your development team deems best. Check out this article where Google outlines the many ways you can specify the canonical page. And if you’re using HubSpot, you’re in extra luck. HubSpot has made it super easy for you to automatically add self-referencing canonical URLs for all blog posts, landing pages, and website pages, taking pretty much all of the guesswork out.
Hopefully, this helps clear some things up around the topic of canonical tags. What’s your canonical tag strategy? Have you seen large SEO benefits from a dialed-in canonical tagging process? I’d love to hear from you!Eye for Ebony
About the author
Mallory Fetchu was formerly a Marketing Consultant at SmartBug with several years of experience creating and executing a full marketing strategy for a B2B packaging company. She is thrilled to take her knowledge of inbound marketing and help companies succeed online! Read more articles by Mallory Fetchu.