How to use Meta Canonical Tag on your website? Google, Bing and Yahoo support using the canonical tag in your source.
What could be the problem? You have a website page with the following fictitious URL :
The content of this page is also available on the following page :
The URL from item a) is often the result of a CMS system with a search engine unfriendly URL. The URL from item b) is friendly for the search engines, it is readable and crawlable. However, there is just 1 problem: you have double content. Two different URL but with the same content. One links to a and the other links to b. This is where you leak PageRank.
This addition in your source makes search engines understand the main page if you have double content. By guiding the search engine to the most important page your PageRank will be set on the right page. This is better for your ranking and results.
In our example shown below the page from item a) will be redirected to the right page by adding the following text in your source which is found in the head part of your webpage :
The page mentioned in the canonical link will be indexed in the database of the search engines. The search engine will also give this page the highest priority. The canonical link will work as a hint for the search engines, which means the canonical link could not be followed or indexed by a search engine.
Why should you use the rel="canonical" meta tag?
The rel=canonical isn't a real meta tag but it is more an HTML description. By adding the rel=canonical tag you inform the spiders which page is the main page if you have double content. This doesn't mean that the spiders will not pay attention or punish you for having the other page. That story is a myth.
How do you add the rel="canonical" meta tag?
The rel=canonical can be added in the source of your webpage :
The URL of a canonical link can be a relative link. However, we advise you to use absolute links to prevent problems. The canonical link can only link to a page with the same domain name.
Where should you add meta tags?
You may add meta tags to all of your webpages, so not only in the first index page. Make sure that on every page relevant meta tags are added. Add keywords and phrases that are relevant and correspond to the text and the language on that specific page. It might be a lot of work to add specific meta tags to each page but you will notice in time that it works!