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Canonical markup is an HTML attribute that helps search engines understand the preferred version of a webpage. It is used to indicate to search engines the original source of content, even if it is duplicated or republished on multiple pages or sites.
The use of canonical markup is important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as it helps to avoid duplicate content penalties and ensure that search engines are able to crawl and index the most relevant version of a page. This can help improve the visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs), increase traffic, and provide a better user experience for visitors.
Canonical markup can be added to a webpage using the rel=”canonical” tag in the header section of the HTML code. The tag should point to the preferred version of the page, which is typically the original source of the content. For example, if a blog post has been republished on a different website, the rel=”canonical” tag on the republished page should point to the original post on the original website.
It’s important to note that the use of canonical markup does not guarantee that a search engine will index the preferred version of a page, but it does provide a strong signal to search engines about the preferred version. The decision to index a specific page is ultimately up to the search engine algorithms.
In conclusion, the use of canonical markup is a valuable tool for SEO and can help ensure that search engines are able to crawl and index the most relevant version of a page, improving the visibility of a website in search results and providing a better user experience for visitors.