The canonical tag is an HTML element that is used to indicate the preferred version of a webpage when multiple versions of the same content exist or can be accessed through different URLs. It plays an important role in search engine optimization (SEO) by helping search engines understand which URL should be considered as the primary or canonical version.
Here are the main uses and benefits of the canonical tag:
Duplicate Content Management: When the same content is available on multiple URLs, search engines may view it as duplicate content. This can dilute the SEO value of the content and may result in lower rankings or indexing issues. By specifying the canonical URL using the canonical tag, you can consolidate the ranking signals and indicate to search engines which version should be indexed and ranked.
URL Parameters and Sorting: E-commerce websites often have URL parameters or sorting options that can generate multiple URLs for the same product or category page. Using the canonical tag, you can specify the main version of the page and prevent search engines from indexing the various parameter or sorting variations. This helps in avoiding duplicate content issues and maintains the focus on the primary version.
Content Syndication and Cross-Domain Duplication: If you syndicate your content on other websites or have similar content on multiple domains, the canonical tag can be used to specify the original or preferred source of the content. This prevents search engines from penalizing you for duplicate content and ensures that the appropriate source gets the SEO credit.
Mobile and Desktop Versions: When you have separate mobile and desktop versions of your website, it's common to use different URLs for each version. The canonical tag allows you to indicate the relationship between the mobile and desktop versions and specify the canonical URL for each version. This helps search engines understand the connection between the two versions and prevents duplicate content issues.
URL Consolidation: In some cases, you may have different URLs pointing to the same content due to various reasons, such as URL variations, different protocols (http vs. https), or URL capitalization differences. By using the canonical tag, you can consolidate the URLs and prevent search engines from treating them as separate pages. This helps in consolidating the SEO value and improving the overall visibility of the content.
Overall, the canonical tag is a powerful tool in SEO for managing duplicate content, consolidating URLs, and indicating the preferred version of a webpage. By correctly implementing the canonical tag, you can improve search engine rankings, prevent indexing issues, and ensure that the right version of your content is displayed to users.
How to add the canonical tag in Magento 2?
To add a canonical tag in Magento 2, you can follow these steps:
- Log in to your Magento 2 admin panel.
- Go to Content > Design > Configuration.
- Click on the Edit link of the store view where you want to add the canonical tag.
- In the Edit Configuration page, expand the HTML Head section.
- Look for the Canonical Link Meta Tag field and set it to "Yes" to enable the canonical tag.
- Save the configuration by clicking on the Save Configuration button.
Once you've enabled the canonical tag, Magento 2 will automatically add the canonical URL to the head section of your store's HTML pages. The canonical URL is typically based on the current page's URL and helps search engines understand the preferred version of a page when multiple URLs can access the same content.
It's worth noting that the steps mentioned above are for the default Magento 2 installation. If you have a custom theme or have made modifications to your Magento installation, the steps or location of the configuration option may vary slightly. In such cases, it's recommended to consult your theme developer or refer to the Magento 2 documentation for specific instructions related to your setup.