Definition of the Canonical Tag 

Through our SEO Agency Optimize 360

In the world of referencing there are a number of techniques and tricks you can use to improve the position of your natural skin. website on search engines.

Among these, the use of the canonical tag is essential to avoid duplicate content problems. In this article, we're going to take a closer look at this tag and see how to use it effectively.


Canonical tag

What is the canonical tag?

The canonical tag, or URL canonical, is an element HTML which tells search engines which is the original, or "main", version of a web page among several similar versions.

It is often the case that the same content can be accessed via several different URLs, leading to duplication problems and a loss of authority for your site in the eyes of Google et al.

To solve these problems, you can add a canonical tag in the source code of your pages, specifying the corresponding canonical URL.

In this way, the search engines will know which content is a priority and won't penalise your site for duplication.

How do you determine a canonical URL?

First of all, it is important to identify the content that is likely to generate duplication on your site. Here are a few typical cases:

  • Pages accessible with and without the "www" prefix
  • The HTTP and HTTPS of the same content
  • The pages of pagination
  • Filters and sorting in a product catalogue, for example for a website e-commerce
  • Content translated or adapted for specific countries

In these situations, it is crucial to establish rules for choosing the canonical version of each page. You can opt for the version that generates the most traffic, the one that generates the most engagement or the one that best meets the objectives of your strategy. SEO.

Setting up the canonical tag on your site

Once you have determined the canonical URLs for your pages, you need to integrate the canonical tag into the HTML source code of your pages. The syntax is as follows:


Where [URL_CANONIC] must be replaced by the web address chosen as the reference. This tag must be added to the section of each page concerned.

Practical example: pagination

Let's imagine you have a blog with several pages of articles, accessible via URLs such as,, etc. In this case, the canonical tag should be added to each of these pages, indicating the first page as the canonical URL:


In this way, search engines will understand that it is the first page that should be given priority for indexing and natural referencing, thus avoiding duplication problems.

Beware of common mistakes!

Although the canonical tag is a powerful tool for optimising your SEO, it is essential to use it with care and to check that it is working properly. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Do not use the hreflang for translated content : If you manage several language versions of the same content, it is not enough to use the canonical tag to indicate the original URL. You should also use the hreflang tags to specify which content corresponds to which language and/or region, in order to improve theuser experience and referencing.

  2. Choose a non-indexable URL as canonical : It is sometimes possible to accidentally choose a URL blocked by the robots.txt file or containing a tag as canonical. Make sure that the URL you choose can actually be indexed by search engines.

  3. Have reciprocal canonical tags : Avoid creating situations where two pages refer to each other as canonical (for example, page A indicating page B as canonical, and vice versa). This confuses search engines and damages your SEO.

Don't neglect the technical side of SEO!

In conclusion, mastering the canonical tag is an essential asset for perfecting your SEO strategy.

By avoiding the problems associated with duplicate content, you can give your pages greater visibility and improve your search engine ranking.

Don't hesitate to consult online resources, such as the official Google documentation, to deepen your knowledge and master this crucial concept for your website.

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