What is a Canonical URL in WordPress (rel=canonical tags)
Last Updated on 15th March 2023 by Ajmer Singh
The canonical URL is a URL that identifies the original page of content on your website.
It’s used when generating navigation menus and it’s also used in SEO optimization.
If you have different versions of the same page, for example in different languages,
then that will require a canonical URL for each version to avoid duplicate content issues.
This allows you to specify one URL as the main or preferred version of your content.
This is especially helpful if you have multiple pages with similar content and want to indicate which is the original page.
The use of this tag lets the search engines know that the content is duplicated.
When done, it will provide a link to the original article on which the duplicated one was based.
What is a Canonical URL?
A canonical URL is a way to tell search engines that two pages are actually the same page.
If you have two URLs for your website’s home page (e.g., “www.example.com” and “example.com”)
Then both should point to the same content, typically by using different domain names or subdirectories (e.g., www3.example.com and www2.example.com)
It is a way to specify the page that is the preferred version of a page.
It can be used in an effort to consolidate search engine rankings for a domain or for content.
The idea behind a canonical URL is to ensure that search engines can’t index duplicate content.
It is the primary URL that should be used for your content.
It’s useful if you need to use more than one URL for the same page because it prevents Google from indexing multiple copies of the content.
Learn from my mistakes!
This is the first mistake I did during my blogging journey.
At starting stage I used to write articles and publish them.
Later on, I heard about adding www to the domain, I am curious and added www to my domain.
After some time I learned about keyword research and changed the keywords of all of my articles including slugs.
That should be the mistake, adding www, and changing the slug mean now you have different URLs pointing to the same website/article.
Google bots found these different versions duplicate.
To avoid this mistake you need to add a rel=canonical to the original article.
But how do you add rel=canonical in the original article?
Stay with me to know more,
How to add rel=canonical in your article?
The easiest way to add a canonical URL is by using SEO plugins like Yoast, RankMath etc.
1. Yoast SEO Canonical Settings
Login to your dashboard – click on posts – edit post – scroll down to Yoast SEO settings – advanced settings – canonical URL – add your URL.
2. RankMath SEO Canonical Settings
Same with the RankMath plugin, edit your post and at the advanced tab enter your canonical URL.
Canonical URL(explained) in simple words (FAQs’)
1. Who needs to add a rel=canonical tag?
Websites having different versions of their domains, for example,
2. Why did you need to add a rel=canonical tag?
To avoid your website from,
- duplicate issues
- indexing issues
- ranking issues
- Google search console errors
3. Adding rel=canonical help in SEO?
Yes. It is one of the basic features of SEO optimization.
Adding a rel=canonical tag is a good practice to optimize your content according to Google and other search engines.
A canonical URL helps you to make your blogs SEO-friendly.
I hope you guys understand what is canonical URL in WordPress, why you need them and how to use them.
Have any questions, comment below, and I will try to answer them ASAP.
And don’t forget to share it with your friends.