Canonical tags come in many guises – rel canonical, canonical URL tag, even
rel=canonical – but despite their different names, they all mean the same thing.
The canonical tag tells a search engine which page serves as the ‘master’ copy. Using a meta tag in your site’s HTML header, you can reduce duplicate returns of the same content with different URL extensions in searches. How? Because canonical tags tell a search engine which version of your content came first, and which you want to show.
With fewer duplicates in any given search, your canonical page gets boosted higher in the search results, sending more hits to your original content. But canonical tags are complex – and in this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about them from best practice uses to how and when you should use a canonical tag, and if there are alternative solutions that would work better for you given your situation. Let’s get started.