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Use canonical urls to improve SEO

Today there's a lot of talk about duplicate content and SEO. What happens to your blog when a search engine crawls it and discovers the same blog post exists in a specific category archive, and on an own page? What happens to your e-commerce website when you've got products tagged with more than one tag? Duplicate content.

This creates problems for search engines - but there's a simple solution - canonical urls.

Canonical urls to the rescue

Canonical urls, or canonicalization as it also is called, helps you decide what address should be the standard address for specific content on your website. What you want to do is to start using a new link rel attribute: canonical.

Put the new link rel attribute in <head> and provide the default url for the specific content, like this:

<link rel="canonical" href="" />

Read more about canonical urls in Google's webmaster blog.


Another way of avoiding duplicate content is also to use Google's Webmaster Tools.. and choose a primary URL for your site :) Highly recommended tool anyway..

Hi Martin,

Thkx for sharing this. I am using the robots.txt. and meta tags for this case. It has another advantage as well. It keeps the total amount of indexed pages by a search engine low as well. One of the blogs I built has at the moment no more than 50 pages. Without any url blocking as mentioned above it has at the end more the 200 pages indexed in Google. I cleaned it all by removing a lot of pages via the webmaster tool. (after blocking the pages first) If you use now in the google search box, you will get a nice and clean overview of the indexed pages. Just the pages you want people to find in the search engine.

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