Canonical tags, also known as rel=”canonical” tags, are HTML elements used to indicate the preferred version of a webpage when multiple versions of the same content exist. Canonical tags are used to address duplicate content issues and consolidate link equity by specifying the canonical (or primary) version of a webpage that search engines should index and display in search results. When search engines encounter canonical tags, they understand that the specified URL is the preferred version of the content and should be treated as the authoritative source for indexing and ranking purposes.

Implementing canonical tags involves adding the rel=”canonical” attribute to the <link> tag in the HTML code of the webpage and specifying the canonical URL that should be used as the primary version of the content. This is particularly useful in situations where multiple versions of the same content exist, such as different URLs for mobile and desktop versions of a webpage, or duplicate content across different pages or domains. By using canonical tags, website owners can consolidate link equity, avoid duplicate content penalties, and ensure that the preferred version of their content is indexed and displayed in search results.

Also see: Organic traffic, Paid search, Pay-per-click (PPC), Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, Schema markup, Crawling