Troubleshooting Issues With Rel=canonical Tags For SEO

Title: Troubleshooting Rel=Canonical tags for SEO

As an SEO professional, the rel=canonical tag is a vital tool to avoid duplicate content issues. However, there are times when things don’t go as planned, and troubleshooting may be necessary.

One common problem is incorrect URLs in the tag, which result in the wrong page being canonicalized. Double-check the URLs to ensure they match the intended pages.

Another issue is when the rel=canonical tag is missing or duplicated. Verify that there is only one canonical tag per page and that it is present in the correct location.

Additionally, some content management systems (CMS) automatically add canonical tags, which can conflict with your manually set tags. In such cases, you may need to modify the CMS settings or use a plugin to disable automatic canonicalization.

Troubleshooting rel=canonical issues is an essential aspect of SEO optimization. Regularly test and review your tags to ensure they are functioning correctly, and you’ll avoid encountering any significant SEO problems.

Are You Having Trouble with rel=canonical Tags for SEO?

If you’re an SEO expert, you’ve likely heard of rel=canonical tags. These tags can be incredibly useful for telling search engines which pages should be seen as the authoritative source of content, and which pages should be considered duplicates or copies. However, like any SEO tactic, there can be issues with implementing rel=canonical tags. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the most common issues with rel=canonical tags, and provide some tips for troubleshooting.

The Common Issues with rel=canonical Tags

Issue #1: Incorrect Syntax

The first and most common issue with rel=canonical tags is an incorrect syntax. The syntax for a rel=canonical tag should look something like this:.

If the syntax is incorrect or missing a quotation mark or closing tag, search engines may not understand what the canonical URL is or which page should be prioritized over duplicates.

Issue #2: Adding the Wrong Page URL

Another issue arises when the wrong page URL is added to the rel=canonical tag. This can occur when the URL entered is misspelled or contains an incorrect file extension. If the URL is incorrect, the search engine will be directed to the wrong URL, and the canonicalization will not be properly executed.

Issue #3: Reusing Canonical Tags

Sometimes users attempt to reuse the same canonical URL tag on multiple pages. This is problematic because each page on your website should have its own unique canonical tag. Once again, search engines won’t know which page to prioritize, which can impact your page’s visibility and search ranking.

Steps to Troubleshooting rel=canonical Tags

Now that we’ve identified some of the most common issues with rel=canonical tags, let’s go over some of the ways you can troubleshoot these issues.

Step 1: Check the Syntax of Your Canonical Tag

When troubleshooting a rel=canonical tag, the first thing you should check is the syntax of your canonical tag. Make sure that all of the tags are properly nested and that the quotation marks are present.

Step 2: Check the Page URL in Your Canonical Tag

The second step to troubleshooting your rel=canonical tag is to check that you have the correct page URL in the tag. Take a moment to double-check the spelling, punctuation, and file extension to ensure that the URL is correct.

Step 3: Add Unique Canonical Tags to Each Page

If you’ve discovered that you’ve been reusing the same canonical URL in some of your pages, make sure you add unique canonical tags to each page. This will help search engines properly prioritize each page.


Rel=canonical tags can be an effective tool for improving your website’s SEO, but they can also cause issues if not implemented correctly. By following the troubleshooting tips outlined in this article, you can make sure that your rel=canonical tags are working properly and helping you to rank higher in search engine results. So, go ahead and take a closer look at your rel=canonical tags. Who knows, you might find some quick and easy ways to improve your rank!

No changes in search rankingsIncorrect implementation of rel=canonical tagEnsure that the canonical tag points to the correct canonical URL
Decrease in search rankingsIncorrect implementation of rel=canonical tag, resulting in Google interpreting multiple pages as duplicate contentCheck that the canonical tag is implemented correctly on all relevant pages and points to the correct canonical URL
Pages removed from indexIncorrect implementation of rel=canonical tag, or using it in combination with other directives such as noindex or robots meta tagRemove any conflicting or unnecessary directives and ensure that the canonical tag is implemented correctly on all relevant pages
Canonicalization of non-duplicate URLsUsing rel=canonical tag on non-duplicate URLsRemove the canonical tag from non-duplicate URLs
Canonicalization of non-canonical URLsUsing rel=canonical tag on non-canonical URLs that redirect to canonical URLsRemove the canonical tag from non-canonical URLs and use a redirect instead

How To Troubleshoot Issues with rel=canonical Tags for SEO You Need To Know

If your website has multiple versions of the same content, rel=canonical tags can help you avoid getting penalized by Google for duplicate content. However, issues with these tags can arise, which can negatively impact your SEO. If you’re experiencing issues with rel=canonical tags, here are some FAQs to help you troubleshoot the problem:


1. What is a rel=canonical tag?

A rel=canonical tag is an HTML attribute added to the header of a webpage that signals to search engines the preferred URL for a piece of content that exists on more than one page.

2. What are the most common issues with rel=canonical tags?

The most common issues are: (1) a missing or incorrect rel=canonical tag; (2) rel=canonical tags pointing to the wrong page; and (3) conflicting rel=canonical tags.

3. How do I check if my rel=canonical tags are working?

You can use Google Search Console’s URL Inspection tool to check if Google has detected your rel=canonical tags and if they’re pointing to the correct page.

4. What should I do if my rel=canonical tags are not working?

First, check if you have implemented the tag correctly. If it’s correct, check if there are any conflicting tags on the same page. If not, try resubmitting your XML sitemap in Google Search Console to help Google detect the tags.

5. Are rel=canonical tags essential for SEO?

While they’re not essential, they can help you avoid duplicate content issues and ensure that Google indexes the preferred page. Therefore, it’s recommended to use them for optimal SEO.

Reference URLs:
1. Moz – Learn SEO: Canonicalization
2. Yoast – The complete guide to rel=canonical for SEO

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