As a store owner, you are concerned about your website's visibility, popularity, and improving its ranking, aren’t you? And you have heard about SEO and some rules of ‘this game’ for sure.

Google just like other search engines does have some ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ principles that help them decide between increasing your rank and position in search results versus decreasing them or even penalizing your website.

One of the things that can harm your website SEO is duplicate content. You may be thinking now it has nothing to do with you because you are not going to make any duplicates of your site content. But the thing is a bit more complicated than it may seem.

To be more exact, people and search engine bots understand things differently. For example, people perceive the following URLs as a single page:

But for search engine crawlers, these are separate URLs!. And one more example to prove that duplicate content concerns everyone: think about all your internal and external URLs linking back to some pages of your store (from social media channels or other websites, mobile and desktop version links, etc.). They are all treated as ‘unique’ URLs having similar or duplicate content.

Please don’t worry! There is a solution, and its name is a canonical meta tag.

What is a Canonical Meta Tag?

A canonical meta tag is an HTML attribute (rel=”canonical”) that is used to mark a URL to which search value should be assigned. In simple terms, canonization tells search engines which URL version should be considered as the source one, showed in search results, and be indexed.

Why Are Canonical Meta Tags Important for SEO?

First of all, it is crucial to tell search engines which URL they should index and rank as well as what your users should see in search results. By doing so, you help the search algorithms to assign all duplicate content (both from internal and external URLs/websites) to a single canonical URL and help yourself to avoid penalties.

Another thing is that by excluding pages with duplicate content from crawling, you prevent search engine bots from wasting time on indexing pages with the same or similar content and let them crawl new pages with unique content, instead. This way you will get the most out of your store.

Finally, the usage of canonical URLs simplifies your SEO analytics efforts. How? Since all duplicate content is assigned to one canonical URL, you get consolidated product metrics.

Magento 2 Canonical URL

Magento 2 by default comes with the canonical meta tag feature for Products and Category pages only.

To enable the canonical meta tag:

  • On the Admin panel, click Stores. In the Settings section, select Configuration.
  • Select Catalog under Catalog in the panel on the left
  • Open the Search Engine Optimizations section, and continue with the following:

magento 2 canonical meta tag

  • If you would like search engines to index only pages using the full category path:

    • In Canonical Link Meta Tag for Categories field, set to “Yes.”
    • In Canonical Link Meta Tag for Products field, set to “No.”
  • If you would like search engines to index only product pages:

    • In Canonical Link Meta Tag for Categories field, set to “No.”
    • In Canonical Link Meta Tag for Products field, set to “Yes.
  • If you would like search engines to index both Categories and Products :

    • In Canonical Link Meta Tag for Categories field, set to “Yes
    • In Canonical Link Meta Tag for Products field, set to “Yes
  • Click Save Config

Unfortunately, these are the only options supported by the default Magento 2 version.

Ulmod team realizes how much SEO matters to the success of your business and have come up with the Canonical URL for Magento 2 extension.

Unlike the default Magento 2, the extension allows adding or removing canonical meta tags not only for Product and Category pages but also for CMS Pages and any other custom pages. On top of that, it is also possible to enable canonical tags for pagination pages (e.g., URLs that end with ‘?p=1’, ‘?p=2’, etc.) and layered navigation pages (the current Category or filtered pages). You can also add a custom Canonical URL per single/individual product, category, CMS page. Use longest or shortest categories path for product canonical URLs.

One more thing is that it is possible to canonize cross-domain duplicates. If you own several sites and post the same or very similar content, the canonical meta tag will direct ranking to one website.

rel=”next”/rel=”prev” parameters are also supported. They define the relationship between component URLs showing search engines the sequence of these pages and consolidating the linking properties.

Also, the configuration process of the extension is pretty straightforward and quick. If you visit the product page, you will see useful screenshots and a User Guide to help you with the setup. Ulmod can also assist with the professional installation of the extension.

Magento 2 Canonical URL Extension Key Features

  • Enabling/disabling canonical URL for any pages such as Category, CMS, Product pages, and any custom pages;
  • Adding custom Canonical URL per particular/single product, category, CMS page
  • Use longest or shortest categories path for product canonical URLs 
  • Setting a cross-domain (store view) canonical URL;
  • Excluding canonical tags on the relevant pages;
  • Adding/removing trailing slash in canonical links;
  • Adding Canonical URL for category pager and layered navigation;
  • Adding rel=next/prev link to any previous and next category page;
  • Easy to configure and use
  • Websites, stores, and store view configuration supported.

canonical meta tag features

Need more information on this? Feel free to read through our Magento 2 Canonical URL Extension page for more details. There you will also find a complete user guide with helpful screenshots and will be able to try out a Demo version.

Duplicate content is a serious ‘crime’ in the SEO world, and it is a mistake to ignore this point. Magento 2 Canonical URL Extension by Ulmod can help you avoid this mistake, solve duplicate content issues as well as increase your store SEO potential and improve your link and ranking signals.

Tags: technical 2 tips ecommerce tips canonical url