A canonical URL is the URL of the page that Google thinks is most representative from a set of duplicate pages on your site.
If you have two URLs that serve very similar content, consider canonicalizing them, using one of these methods:
- By setting a rel=canonical HTTP header response, if you want to maintain slightly different versions for some visitors, e.g. a printer-friendly page.
- In your sitemap (however, while all pages listed in a sitemap are suggested as canonicals; Google will decide which pages (if any) pages are duplicates).
- By using 301 redirects if there’s no real reason to maintain the duplicate.
Pre-launch and immediately post launch, ensure the following:
- Content is available at a single, canonicalized URL.
- Google-selected canonical matches user-selected canonical. This can be determined once Google fully indexes a website.
- No canonical/indexation mixed signal errors. This can be found in Google Search Console.
For SEO tips, feel free to contact Bloom Digital Marketing. We have lots of SEO tips up our sleeve.