What are canonical URLS

What are canonical URLS

If you have just started blogging, or perhaps even blogging for some time

If you are using an SEO plugin such as All In One or Yoast

You may have heard the term Canonical URLS

You might even have wondered what they were

So lets explain exactly what they are

The first thing to understand is this. They have nothing to do with canons!!

The explaination is a lot more simper than that

Website Growth

It has everything to do with website growth and the content on that website

As the content grows, then it becomes harder to stop duplicate content

Even if the content is not duplicate, it can be near duplicate

This can confuse the search engines

Because when they find near duplicate content which contain the same keyphrase

They don’t know which one to rank

So they end up ignoring both!


There is a way round this situation which is very simple

Where you have two pages with similar content and keyphrases

You simply select the preferred url you want indexed

That url is called the canonical one

Lets look at an example to clarify this for you

You have proiduced two pages ( as seen below)

https;//example.com/brown-shoes/brown-and- red-shoes/


If both URLS are fo the same product, then you can choose which one to tell the search engines to look for

This is done in the SEO settings for the plugin you are using

Its as simple as ticking a box as you see below

This solves the problem

They dopn’t happen very often, but should you find yourself writing content that is either duplicate or near duplicate

then thisd is the action you can take and it shouldn’t affect your Search Engine Rankings at all

As an aside, as this is discussing duplicate or near duplicate content

It only refers to the content you are using on your own website and not curated content.


16 thoughts on “What are canonical URLS”

  1. Thank you so much for this awesome post!  It is a good one and it is needed for people like me, who are new to website building.  I recently had this problem with a series that I am doing on my site.  I’m glad that all I have to do is check a box.  However, what if I want both to be ranked?  Should I just change the name of one of the pages to make it different enough that both can be post?

  2. Thanks for this great post on how to use and what canonical URLs  are,honestly  I have really been looking for what can be a solution to the duplicates content I do have on my posts but what I’d like you to explain more what what if the we have about 3_4 duplicate contents will the canonical  URLs  works for that also?thanks for this review on the canonical URLs functions

  3. This article is really great. I started my blog for a while. I am using ALL IN ONE. I haven’t quite understood what canonical URLS is, and I didn’t specifically search for it on google. I saw your article and I understand. But I have a problem, I am doing a food blog. Is it also necessary to separate the recipes of the two chickens? Or choose one of them to use canonical URLS?

  4. Hello Dave!

    Thanks for telling us about canonical URLs. This setting is familiar to me too, as I also opened an own website several weeks ago. I didn’t add very many posts by now (it needs time and work, too), but surely I do not have links that look similarly. Articles have targeted different subjects. But of course, duplicating posts may happen to any of us, and having good rankings on the search engines is a must for successful sites.

    Could you please also post screenshots with an example of two duplicate links, where the SEO tells the search engines which one of those to search for and solves the problem?

    Best regards,


  5. Dave thanks for this wonderful article about canonicals urls, for really I didn’t know what they are all about so this as been my first time to know about them. So am gonna starting using them or putting emphasis on them so as to ease the functionality of the search engines. Thanks very much for this article in advance. 

  6. I do use the All in One Plugin but I never paid attention to what canonical URLs are. 
    So the preferred URL is called canonical – now it finally makes sense to me. 

    Because in my first website I might have had similar content (due to the similar products I have reviewed)
    In that case, I want to tick the box and that is the URL I want to have ranked, right? 
    (then the other post with 2nd product will not be ranked, I guess) 

    Anyways thank you for explaining what the canonical URL is.

  7. Hi Dave,  Thanks for explaining canonical URLs.  

    If I understand correctly, this only applies to the URL similarity so that searches focus on the one I choose by clicking the canonical for that post.  

    So, it has nothing to do with the content of the article and similar keywords being used in the body of the article?  Greatly appreciate this info and any clarification you can provide.  Love this site and I’ve pinned it for easy access to return!



  8. Hi Dave, This information is very helpful. I have this appropriately checked off in my general settings but did know the significance. Thank you for your topical explanation for myself as well as all affiliate marketers. Your post is nicely laid out in a structured manner possing the question with a concise answer and simple examples. Very Good!


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