Google Canonical URLs

Finally, the solution for our duplicate content worries is over! Google now supports a new method to specify a canonical URL for your page. This “hint” suggests that Google use this page as the original, and ignore duplicates elsewhere on your domain.

You simply add the fully W3c-compliant <link> tag in your header, and have it point to the permalink for a given post. Google will most likely rank that page in their results, and ignore others. That should help out your ranking overall.

<link rel="canonical" src="" />

Obviously you’ll want some way to integrate this with your CSS. Some will want to roll their own solution, but if not, there are already prefab options available.

  • Aaron

    This looks like a great feature new to Google. I'm sure many web masters, including myself would want to use this. Thanks for the information.

  • Rob

    Be warned!! It’s bullshit that Google supports this. Our rankings have plummeted over the past month after enabling canonical URLs instead of permanent 301 redirects and robots.txt ignore. Turns out when we check in Google Webmaster Tools that all our pages that are bound together with the canonical URL are now considered duplicate content. We have over 4,000 duplicates to a site that’s had no duplicates in the past and a good ranking for several years. Thanks Google!

    After researching the problem (although I have failed to find an official statement from Google stating their mistakes) it seems everyone are having the same problem. I’ve even heard of people having to 301 redirect / and /index.html as they are being reported as duplicate. Pretty lame.

    CONCLUSION after 5 hours research: Google does NOT support canonical URLs!