Canonical URL's - the end of duplicate content issues?

Fri 13 February 2009 14:52, Barry Adams

Canonical URL's - the end of duplicate content issues?

Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have announced support of a format to help prevent the notorious duplicate content problem. With the inclusion of a new header tag in the HTML code of pages that are accessible through multiple URL's you can tell search engines which URL is the preferred, 'canonical' version.

Duplicate content issues have been around for a long time and are hard to eliminate. Especially for database-driven sites that use query elements or session ID's in the URL, it's often the case that a single webpage can be accessed through various different URL's. Other sites may link to the same content on your website with different URL's, thus diluting link value and page rank for that content.

The new feature announced yesterday by the big three search engines provides a simple, elegant solution to this persistent problem. Now all a webmaster has to do is include a <link> tag in the header of the page's HTML code that specifies which URL is the canonical URL, and the search engines will update their indexes to reflect this. Google even claims the page rank of the duplicate URL's will be transferred to the canonical URL.

Hopefully this will spell the end of on-site duplicate content issues. More information about the exact use of the <link> tag can be found in the Google Webmaster Central blog post.

  • Comments (5)
  • SEO
  • Tell-a-cowboy

Comments (5)


  • Addendum: ,a href=" tant-advancement-in-seo-practices-since-sitemaps">SEOmoz</a >, never one to shun hyperbole, calls it "The Most Important Advancement in SEO Practices Since Sitemaps". Their blog post is a comprehensive roundup of the new feature and its repercussions.

    Vr 13 feb 2009, 15:00

  • Link correction: tant-advancement-in-seo-practices-since-sitemaps

    Vr 13 feb 2009, 15:01

  • Thanks For Your valuable posting, it was very informative. Am working in<a href="">Erp Development In Chennai</a>

    Vr 19 jun 2015, 12:56

  • Thank you for your nice post. It is really nice. Good Food Good Life. Shop for organic products<a href="" rel="nofollow"> Fuzzy International.</a>

    Za 17 sep 2016, 12:32

  • thanks for the post.. canonical url should be used for webpages for fast indexing too

    Ma 24 okt 2016, 08:26


  • HTML is not allowed. URLs are automatically clickable.
    * Email address is not shown

  • DateRank: PageRank for singles
  • Raven Site Finder
  • The MESH project: semantic search a Google Killer?
  • Search engine commercials in 1998
  • 50 SEO's 1 question
  • Sneak preview of Wolfram Alpha
  • Official launch of Searchcowboys!
  • Gorilla most search for funny item on Ask

Last Comments


Last event


  • J-P De Clerck
    J-P De Clerck

    Profession: Customer-centric digi...

    Company: Conversionation

  • Sam Murray
    Sam Murray

    Profession: Senior Search Consultant

    Company: Verve Search

  • Susie Hood
    Susie Hood

    Profession: Head of Copywriting

    Company: Click Consult / SEO C...

  • Tom Bogaert
    Tom Bogaert

    Profession: Managing Partner

    Company: QueroMedia

Latest Videos



  • Lizette van der Laan
    Social Media Image

    Is it the real you, the witty you, the person who reads the most interesting articles, makes t...


Subscribe to SC Newsletter:

Most Read

RSS Feed

Are you a bloggerFacebook


© 2016 - All Rights Reserved - All views and opinions expressed are those of the authors of Searchcowboys.

All trademarks, slogans, text or logo representation used or referred to in this website are the property of their respective owners. Sitemap