What is a canonicalization
Before we learn about usage of canonicalization, first we should understand what canonicalization in SEO is. Today I will be sharing few best examples of canonization in SEO. Canonicalization is a method which works on canonical tag or code. It is a process of making search engines aware about the URL. It means by the use of canonical tag, you can actually inform search engines to crawl your website or blog URL’s according to you. A canonical tag could tell search engines which version of a URL you want to appear in search results.
What is the use of Canonicalization in SEO?
We know how canonical works. Now I would tell you SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefits of using canonical tag. The best use of canonicalization is to “Deal with duplicate content”. Canonicalization is a process which informs search engine crawlers about duplicate content and let them understand the content between website pages. Dealing with duplicate content problem is not an easy task for webmasters. Whenever search engines visit your website and crawl multiple URLs with identical (or very similar) content, it can cause a number of SEO problems.
Crawlers are bots and it’s a challenge for them to understand content deeply. They might consider a lot of similar information on website as duplicate content and because of this, crawlers might miss some of your unique content on website. Apart from that if crawlers are getting duplicate content on larger scale, they might shrunk the ranking ability of your website or blog. Also, even if your content does rank, search engines may pick the wrong URL as the “original”. But you can get rid of all these SEO problems if you are using the right canonical tags.
Why crawlers consider content as Duplicate?
It is the first question in every SEO beginner who is learning about canonicalization. Most of the time it is hard to understand for beginners that “Why crawlers consider content as duplicate content when there’s no duplicate page on website?” As I informed earlier, Crawlers are BOT they are not humans. Being a human, we can understand the page concept but for crawlers, every unique URL is a unique page which should have unique content in it.
Given below are few good examples of URL’s by which search crawlers could reach to your website or blog.
For all humans, all of the above listed URL’s are representing one website or we can say one website homepage. But for a search crawler, every single one of these URLs is a unique “page.”
Difference between Canonical tags and 301 redirect
Often people get confused between the 301 redirect and canonicalization because of their working method. I have very simple example which can make you understand the basic difference between canonical tag and 301 redirect.
While using canonical tags, we make search crawlers to read the URL to specific limitation to help them understand between the page content where 301 redirect represents the permanent redirection where we request search crawlers to read the URL content on another location. For example in canonicalization we request crawling bots to read urls like <link rel canonical =https://example.com/category/test-page/”> for the page https://example.com/category/test-page/caonical-tags-and-its-seo-benefits
However, in 301 redirects we request crawlers to read the url content on another location i.s. https://example.com/category/real-page/canonical-tags-and-its-seo-benefits fot he page https://example.com/category/test-page/caonical-tags-and-its-seo-benefits here you can see that the category “Test-page” has been replaced with “Real-Page” which is another destination in website. Hope this would help you to understand the benefits of canonicalization in SEO.