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(Discussion: cross-domain)
(See Also: sharelink)
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* [  Google's canonical advice page]
* [  Google's canonical advice page]
* [ canonical bookmarklets]
* [ canonical bookmarklets]
* [[sharelink-formats]]

Revision as of 10:30, 28 March 2017

Kevin Marks (Editor)

rel=canonical is a link relation to indicate the canonical URL of the current page, to avoid duplicate content.

Per CC0, to the extent possible under law, the editors have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work. In addition, as of 2019-08-22, the editors have made this specification available under the Open Web Foundation Agreement Version 1.0.



By adding rel="canonical" to a hyperlink, a page indicates that the destination of that hyperlink SHOULD be considered the preferred or definitive version of the current page. This helps search engines avoid duplicate content, and is useful for deciding how to link to a page when citing it.


There are many reasons for a site to serve the same content at multiple URLs, but duplicate pages are undesirable in search results. The historic recommendation was to use 301 redirects to the canonical page, but that can be jarring for users. There are many use cases for a URL to have additional information added as query parameters or fragments to indicate the navigation history for referral purposes, but would prefer a single main referent from searches. This was codified in February 2009 as rel=canonical, and adopted by many search engines.

Search engines prefer rel=canonical on a <link> element, and will ignore it on an <a> element.

Cross-domain links

Although the primary use case is links wihtin the same domain, rel=canonical can be used across domains too. A common use case recently is from cached AMP pages to their original.


See Also

rel-canonical was last modified: Wednesday, December 31st, 1969