July 05, 2024

Is Canonicalization a Google Search Ranking Factor or Not?

Is canonicalization a Google search ranking factor? Do you want to optimize the canonicalization strategy for Google search ranking? Can canonicalization influence rankings?

Search engines want you to use canonical tags or canonicalization. But does it impact organic search ranking?

Rel=Canonical tag you will direct Google to the preferred version of your website URL. Still, there is no guarantee that Google will follow your path.

Is Canonicalization a Google Search Ranking Factor or Not?: eAskme
Is Canonicalization a Google Search Ranking Factor or Not?: eAskme

To answer this question, first understand the canonicalization and then dig deep to find facts.

There are very few people who are asking this question, yet it is worth answering.

But does Canonicalization impact your Google search position? Let's find out.

Let's understand everything about canonicalization (rel="canonical") and its impact on search.


Canonicalization is the process of telling a search engine which URL is the best representative of your website. It also helps Google to choose the best page and avoid duplicate pages or versions of the same page.

The easiest way to use canonicalization is to add a rel=canonical tag to declare the representative URL.

Google wants to use to use rel="canonical".

But is canonicalization (rel="canonical")  a Google organic ranking factor? Let's find out.

Claim: Canonicalization is a Google Ranking Factor

Canonicalization or rel="canonical" is an HTML tag that tells Google the best representative of your URL.

In most common cases, Google uses the canonical URL to avoid duplicate versions.

For example, if you set the www version as canonical, then Google will use the URL with www to crawl and index.

This helps Google save resources and time by avoiding duplicate versions of the URL.

In 2023, Google itself recommended the use of canonical tags.

But if you want to avoid duplication in syndicated content, then you should now use canonical links.
Ask syndicated sites or webmasters to use the noindex tag instead of canonical.

The sole purpose of a canonical URL is to share a preferred version of your domain URL with search engines.

As rel=canonical helps Google to find a preferred version of URL, webmasters started believing that it also impacts search engine ranking.

Evidence: Canonicalization is Not a Google Search Ranking Factor

Google has nowhere mentioned that canonicalization or rel=canonical is necessary for ranking.

Google's John Muller said that the best strategy is to use the rel="canonical" tag to avoid duplicate content issues in search results.

Difference between rel=canonical and Noindex:

Rel=canonical tells Google that the source or link is essential and should be indexed. But no index tells the search engines that that page should not be indexed.

In other words, rel=canonical pass link juice, but noindex doesn't do it.

Conclusion: Canonicalization is not a Google Search Ranking Factor

Canonicalization helps Google to identify the preferred version and avoid duplicate versions of the URL. It is necessary to index only preferred URLs. It works as a suggestion.

You should rel=canonical to help Google. However, it is not a Google ranking factor.

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