When Should a Canonical Tag Be Used?
There are a few scenarios in which using a canonical tag is necessary. These include:
URLs That Show Variations of the Same Product
For online businesses, it is a common practice for URLs to be adjusted depending on the specifics of the product or service a potential customer is looking at. This could mean that a product comes in a variety of colors, sizes, or other options. The main page will have a certain URL, like “www.yourbusiness.com/product” while the varied product page URLs will look something like this: “www.yourbusiness.com/product?size=medium&color=green.”
Most e-commerce sites are built to be viewed and navigated seamlessly on mobile devices as well, which means you can include a canonical tag for pages that are specific to mobile, even if they have the same content as a page on the desktop browser version of your site.
URLs Specific to Country or Region
It’s easier to reach some customers and viewers via geotargeting. This means that you add a regional slug or a use a regional subdomain to make sure the page is region-specific and ultimately points back to the master version of the page. A canonical tag is useful here if you want to make it region-specific even though the page itself has much of the same content as the master page.
If you have a content management system in place, the platform should do this automatically, but you should always check to make sure. When you create a new page, you can give it its own canonical tag. This is called a “self-referential tag.” Self-referential canonical tags are handy because search engines like Google will take these tags into account, placing your site at a higher rank in search results. This means more visibility by the people who count, leading to more business.