Canonical URL refers to the preferred version of a webpage that search engines should index and display in search results. It helps prevent duplicate content issues by consolidating multiple URLs with the same or similar content into a single, authoritative URL.

When multiple URLs can lead to the same content – like and – search engines can get confused and potentially index and rank duplicate versions of pages.

This can dilute page authority across multiple URLs, decrease relevancy signal, and result in duplicate content penalties.

Canonical URLs are specified by a canonical tag. This tag is an HTML attribute with the following syntax:


Implementing the rel canonical tag clearly tells search engines like Google which single URL site owners actually want indexed and served as the canonical version in results.

This way all link equity and authority flow to the targeted URL rather than fragmenting across different page variations.

Managing Canonical URLs in WordPress

The All in One SEO (AIOSEO) plugin includes a way for users to easily manage canonical URLs.

While WordPress can generate a canonical URL, All in One SEO provides advanced features for managing them. These include:

  • Specifying a custom canonical URL
  • Managing related pagination issues


The following SEO case studies show how smart use of canonical tags can support exponential traffic growth.