Search Engines like Google monitor the amount of links to your website, this helps them decide how important your page is for the keyword used. Therefore it is important not to share these valuable links over several versions of the same page.
The most common homepage issue on canonicalization is having in-bound links pointing to several versions of a homepage, for example: https://www.juicyseo.co.uk/jg and https://www.juicyseo.co.uk/jg. This is basically sharing the link juice between two different URLs therefore diluting the value of the homepage.
To fix this problem decide on the version you want to use, this could be decided by the commercial aspects of the website or maybe the most commonly used version in your in-bound links. You should then decide on one of the following options to combine the value of the in-bound links to the chosen version.
If you can we recommend using a 301 re-direct as this will not only combine the value of the two pages but removes any duplicate page issues. If it is necessary to have two versions of a page you can use the rel=”canonical” tag. This will inform the search engines robots which version is the most important and should receive the link value.
301 Permanent re-direct
Search engines will follow the re-direct to the new page and de-index the old website page over time and will pass existing value to new website page.
When to use?
Multiple versions of homepage
As explained above this will keep the two website pages and inform the search engines which page is the one which should receive the value of the in-bound link. This however will NOT remove any duplicate page issues.
When to use?
Some e-commerce websites display the same content but have different URLs, for example: www.juicyseo.co.uk/bristol-seo/what-is-seo/ and www.juicyseo.co.uk/seo/bristol/what-is-seo/
How to Implement it
This is a HTML tag which needs to be located in the <head> section of your website page. You will see the <title> and <description> tags in this area too.
Using our example above you would add the following to the <head> section of www.juicyseo.co.uk/seo/bristol/what-is-seo/ as the main page is www.juicyseo.co.uk/bristol-seo/
<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://www.juicyseo.co.uk/jg/bristol-seo/” />