What Is Canonicalization And How Does It Prevent Duplicate Content Issues?

Digital marketing is an essential factor that many companies take advantage of to improve their sales. In particular, SEO comes up a lot as companies use it to help elevate their rank in search engine results. This is why companies may utilize the services of a digital marketing agency like Smile Media. However, SEO can be a complex subject as there is a range of factors to consider. After all, search engines rank sites and pages on various factors to ensure that the best content is shown to people using them. As a result, you want to ensure that your displayed content is not only quality but also adheres to the rules of search engines. Because of this complexity, a range of content issues can occur, which you will want to prevent. One common issue that can happen is duplicate content, which may affect your ranking and dampen the impact of your content. So how can this be prevented? Canonicalization is the answer. In this article, we will look at how canonicalization can prevent duplicate content issues. Let’s dive in.


How do duplicate content issues occur?

According to search engines, duplicate content is described as content that appears on multiple web pages. This duplicate content may appear on the same website, although unnecessary. The existence of duplicate content does not imply anything malicious and, in most cases, may even be unavoidable. Different variations of the same URL may lead to duplicate content. For example, let’s say there is a page that contains product information. Anyone visiting the page may be interested in printing the information. You may provide a hyperlink that leads them to a page where the information is displayed in printable form. This new link will be a different variation of the same URL and will have the same information. However, search engine pages cannot differentiate between these two pages without additional info and may consider both duplicates. Other reasons include different versions of websites that include and exclude the ‘www’ and similar product information of products from the same company.


What is canonicalization?

Canonicalization is the process of using canonical tags during search engine optimization. In essence, canonical tags are lines embedded in the URL that tell search engines that this is the master copy of a page. After all, there may be multiple pages of the same content on your website, as we saw previously. This helps prevent duplicate content issues. Furthermore, canonicalization can also help you tell search engines that the page with the canonical tag is the one you want to appear in search engine results.


How does canonicalization prevent duplicate issues?

Search engines index web pages by using crawler bots. These crawlers go through web pages and index them, assessing all aspects of the website before ranking them. When a crawler notices duplicate content, it can get confused as it can be unclear which content should be indexed. Search engines do not like duplicate content, which may cause your web page rank to drop. This is not ideal, especially if the page you consider the master copy is the one you have worked extensively on as your landing page. Landing pages are crucial as they help you attract a large audience from search engine result pages. Canonicalization enables you to avoid these issues by telling search engine crawlers which is the master page. The canonical tags embedded into that page will help ensure it takes center stage. Once the crawler scans the canonical tag, it will ignore the duplicate content on your page and not consider it part of the indexing process. This will also be in your best interest as these additional pages will exist for other purposes, such as printing or different URL variations. In this way, your SEO efforts will be maximized, and you will be able to get better results.


To sum up

SEO is a complex process that can yield many benefits for companies from a digital marketing perspective. However, some issues can occur with your content on web pages, such as duplication. This can be due to various reasons, such as URL variations or product descriptions. Canonicalization is a great way to help prevent duplication issues. The process involves using canonical tags on the master copy of pages, telling search engine crawlers to ignore all other pages with duplicate content. This way, the crawlers do not get confused and consider the master page for ranking. This helps ensure that your web page gets ranked higher, leading to better results.

We hope this article has been insightful and helps prevent duplication issues with your web pages. Thank you for reading!


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