Canonicalization is the method employed by search engines to discern the primary version of a URL among duplicates, ensuring that it is the one indexed and displayed to users. This designated version is known as the canonical URL, and ranking signals such as links converge towards that specific page. This procedure is occasionally denoted as standardization or normalization.

Canonicalization signals

Canonicalization signals encompass a multitude of diverse indicators that play a crucial role in the canonicalization procedure. As articulated by Google’s Gary Illyes, a total of 20 distinct signals contribute to this process. These encompass:

  1. Instances of duplication
  2. Canonical link elements
  3. URLs specified in the sitemap
  4. Internal linking structures
  5. External references and connections
  6. Redirects
  7. Hreflang attributes
  8. PageRank considerations
  9. Preference for HTTPS pages over HTTP
  10. Favoring shorter URLs over longer ones
  11. Determining the original publication or visibility of content
  12. Site-level signals, such as a historical record of scraped content
  13. Pages taking precedence over PDF formats

2 thoughts on “”

  1. Navigating the intricate world of canonicalization can be challenging, but this article serves as a beacon for SEO professionals seeking clarity. The detailed exploration of signals, including the preference for HTTPS pages and the impact of page length on canonicalization, offers actionable insights. The mention of common mistakes, such as mixing noindex and rel=canonical, serves as a helpful reminder to avoid pitfalls that could negatively impact a website’s ranking. With the ever-evolving SEO landscape, staying informed on canonicalization best practices is paramount, and this article serves as an invaluable resource.

  2. Canonicalization is a crucial aspect of SEO, and this comprehensive guide provides valuable insights into the complex process. With ~60% of the internet being duplicate content, understanding canonicalization signals and avoiding common mistakes is essential for optimizing website performance. The article’s breakdown of various signals, including internal links, external links, and redirects, offers a clear understanding of how search engines determine the canonical version. SEOs will benefit from the practical tips on how to check canonicals using Google Search Console and the potential issues associated with hreflang and JavaScript sites. Overall, a must-read for anyone serious about mastering SEO strategies.

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