No other way is perfect for gaining online exposure other than search engine optimization (SEO). This method can help you expand your reach by improving your search engine rankings through published articles.
The problem, however, is that there are thousands of articles published every day. Chances are, some of those might be a bit similar to your online content, which could cause duplication. And when there is a duplication, it could be considered plagiarised.
Similar to your college professors, search engines like Google are not benevolent when it comes to plagiarism. If they deem your online content that way, it would negatively impact your SEO. The same goes if someone else plagiarised your work and published it somewhere else online.
Why would anyone copy content?
According to Matt Cuts from Google, 25-30% of online content are duplicates. Some are international, while others are coincidental. Nevertheless, to prevent you from being part of either of those categories, you should use canonicalisation.
Canonicalisation is a process that allows you to tell search engines that a particular URL serves the original copy of online content or web page. As such, no duplication will take place on any multiple URLs.
To further convince you why canonicalisation matters to your online content, read the in-depth reasons below. You would also learn when to use it and how to canonicalisation on web pages.
Why Is Canonicalisation Important for Your Online Content?
1. Specify the URL the People Would See
When you use canonicalisation for your online content, you indicate to the search engine which version of URL you want people who have found your web page to see and appear on search results.
For example, in our case, if we want our target audience to reach our local SEO page, the URL we would use would be:
With the use of canonicalisation, our URL becomes readable and easier to understand. Plus, they look clean and manageable to remember.
2. Simplify the Tracking Metrics of a Web Page
Having several URLs only makes getting consolidated metrics for specific online content a lot harder. Not only would it take time, but you would also have to note down each URL for that online content.
Just imagine what would happen if you let this happen in the long run? Naturally, there are so many URLs and online content you need to check one by one only to track the metrics.
And that is where canonicalisation comes in. This process allows you to keep things simple and sorted out, especially when tracking the performance of your web pages. You could quickly identify which has more visitors, traffic, bounce rate, and many more.
3. Merge Link Signals for Similar & Control Syndicated Online Content
Lastly, canonicalisation helps search engines consolidate information coming from URLs and merge them into a single, authoritative URL. And when you syndicate your online content, let say about ecommerce SEO 101, on another website or domain, canonicalised URL would help combine the page ranking of your preferred URL.
That means if your online content on B and C are both getting traffic, the traction it gains will go to the original copy, which is on your website. In other words, they would not compete for search engine rankings since they all belong to the same or single URL.
When to Use Canonicalisation?
Use canonicalisation when the same content exists and appears on more than one URL. Here are a few situations when it often happens:
- Homepage – Usually can be accessed through different URLs such as:
- Web pages wIth or without slashes and case sensitivity.
- Online content with different formats (epub, PDF)
- URL that is still under HTTP with no SSL certificate encryption
How to Check Canonical Tags?
If you are not sure if your website is already using canonicalisation, there are many ways you can check. The following are your options:
1. View Source
To view this image, simply add “view-source:” besides the URL. For example, in the case of our homepage, it would look like this:
2. Use Canonicalisation Checker
If the view source is too hard to see for your eyes, you can use some canonicalisation checker such as:
Using either one of them helps you check the canonical tags a lot easier and does not hurt your eyes, too.
Take advantage of canonicalisation so you can keep the structure of your online content organised. Plus, you can save yourself from duplicate content that could cause problems in your SEO rankings.
Contact our SEO agency in Singapore at 6391-0930 to learn more about canonicalisation and other SEO strategies.