Canonicalization is the process of informing search engines that a particular URL is the master copy of the correlating page. It is important to use canonical tags to prevent duplicate content, and to maintain consistency throughout search engine rankings. Failure to utilize canonical tags can result in:
- Crawl Errors: If search engines have too much to crawl they can miss out on valuable content that would otherwise improve your rankings
- Duplicate Content: The aforementioned duplicate content can confuse search engines and their users
- Ranking Problems: Having a ton of duplicate content can affect your ability to rank on search engines
- URL Inconsistency: Failure to identify your master URL can cause your website to compete against itself on search engines
While to the average internet user www.hvacwebmasters.com might be the same as hvacwebmasters.com, this is not the case for search engine crawlers. Google crawlers interpret each of those links as separate web pages, along with additional URLs that lead to identical pages. That’s why it is important to select a master copy and communicate it to Google. For canonicalization for HVAC contractors, give us a call at (800) 353-3409.
When URL’s should be Canonicalized
In addition to identifying the master copy of your home page, there are other cases when canonicalization will be the best SEO practice. Remember, your job is to allow search engines to crawl your website as seamlessly as possible, and record all the valuable content on your page. URL’s that should be canonicalized include:
- Expired Content: If you have an HVAC service or description that is now obsolete, you can canonicalize to the most appropriate page
- Republishing: If you are republishing content on a new URL, it is important to canocolize it
Search Query Intent: If users are searching for a subject that refers to two distinguishable pages, canonicalizing the more popular one can improve SEO
- Similar Content: While duplicate content might seem obvious, having extremely similar web pages can divide your optimization potential
You’ll notice that every practice aims at enhancing user experience. Search engines cater to their users, and your HVAC website should follow suit. The more easily potential customers can access the information they are searching for, the more leads you will generate, and the more conversions you will make. HVAC Webmasters can handle all of your cananocilization needs.
301 Redirects vs. Canonicalization
301 Redirects and canonicalization are very similar and serve the same purpose. 301 redirect stands for permanently moved and has to take place on the server side, while canonicalization can be done with a simple tag. For this reason, canonicalization is used by people with less experience working on websites. Besides that, the differences between the two methods are extremely complex and the job of a professional to decipher.
Whether you are using 301 redirects or canonicalization is important to use caution. Making a mistake with one of your URLs can have a lasting impact on your SEO. That’s why hiring a professional to handle your website is the most optimal strategy for HVAC contractors. To further discuss canonicalization and how it impacts your website, give us a call at (800) 353-3409.