Importance Of URL Canonicalization

Achieving an effectively optimized website requires a number of different tactics and techniques. URL canonicalization is among the fundamental tools used to guarantee SEO success from the start.

What Is Canonicalization?

Canonicalization is the process of choosing the best URL, typically for home pages, when there are several choices available. URL’s come in a variety of forms, each with the potential of leading to the same place but each providing technical differences. A canonical URL is the optimal, simplest and authoritative URL chosen for search engines. A canonical URL is, simply put, the URL you want search engines result to display and visitors to see.

Benefits of Canonicalization

URL’s are most commonly available as:

These URL’s are usually treated as the same, but technically they are all different and each can deliver different content. Canonicalization allows you to set the URL that you want search engines to use, which will in turn create consistency in site traffic and content views. Canonicalization is an essential element of an optimized website and can resolve a variety of issues before they become a problem. Establishing a canonical URL will provide a solid foundation for the content that is viewed regardless of the means used to get there.

As a part of canonicalization, you can also set up key redirects that will allow users flexibility in the URL they input while providing redirection to a canonical URL and delivering consistency for search engine results.  Canonicalization directs search engine traffic to the original and preferred URL and content, reducing the amount of duplicate content. Duplicate content (i.e. same web page/content but different URL) causes confusion for search engines, which results in site traffic loss and has the potential to negatively affect rankings. Having the same content on different URL’s divides the popularity of your web pages and reduces the credit and value received from search engines. When duplicate content is present, the search engine is forced to choose the version that is most likely to be the original; through canonicalization, you can take the search engine’s decision out of the equation and set up a trusted foundation for users to be directed to, concentrating site traffic and popularity and boosting rankings.

Implementing Canonicalization

Canonicalization is best implemented from site setup. Search engines are able to make small moves that often go unnoticed such as keeping or removing trailing sashes or converting URL’s with upper case letter to lower case, however the most important steps are best done from the beginning. The most effective components of canonicalization are to: 

  • Establish A Canonical URL: Ensuring that search engines pick your desired URL is a small but crucial step for an optimized website. Setting up your site with a preferred, canonical URL with consistent links throughout is the first step. Begin by picking the URL you prefer and then continue to use that format for all internal links. Do not allow some links to go to one URL and others to go to another, rather maintain and reinforce an authoritative URL.
  • Set Up URL Redirects: A 301 redirect from common URL options to your preferred URL is one of the best things you can do to maintain consistency across page views. A 301 redirect is most recommended for SEO purposes and permanently redirects both users and search engines to the intended URL regardless of the one requested. A canonical tag to your preferred URL can easily be added to the head section of duplicate content URL’s, giving you more control of the content you want seen.

Las Vegas Canonicalization

Having a successfully optimized site is best done from the beginning. When setting up a new website or revitalizing an existing site, the best approach is implement key tactics from set up in order to avoid problems, confusion and negative rankings down the road. A digital marketing agency such as 1 Source Media Group in Las Vegas can effectively help you to establish a website that is set up for success. Hiring a company that understands SEO can provide you with countless benefits, including making sure the small but important details are covered. With extensive SEO experience, 1 Source Media Group can implement canonicalization for your site and provide your business with the key insight and practices to make it successful. To keep search engine and site traffic where you want it most and consequently boost rankings, contact 1 Source Media Group today.