Plugins for specifying canonical URLs for SEO

February 24, 2009 | No Comments Yet

The almighty Google has come out with guidelines for dealing with duplicate content by specifying a canonical URLs (preferred URLs) in the <head> of a webpage, like so:

Now, you can simply add this tag to specify your preferred version:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/product.php?item=swedish-fish" />

inside the <head> section of the duplicate content URLs:

http://www.example.com/product.php?item=swedish-fish&category=gummy-candy
http://www.example.com/product.php?item=swedish-fish&trackingid=1234&sessionid=5678

Since WordPress generates webpages dynamically, it’s best to comply with this SEO practice with plugins. WordPress Garage lists two you can try out, and I’ve added one more from the Plugin Directory:

See also Matt Cutts’s post and presentation and the Google Webmasters Help page on Canonical URLs.

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WordPress Canonical URLs: Redirect WWW to Non-WWW Blog URLs and Vice Versa

February 18, 2008 | 2 Comments

Perhaps one of the number one tips expert bloggers will give newbies, particularly in the realm of search engine optimization, is to use consistent URL formats. Usually a website address can be accessed with or without the WWW. For example, http://www.wpphilippines.com/ and http://wpphilippines.com/ are valid URLs for this website but you don’t see a WWW in the address bar, right? That’s because we’ve redirected the WWW URL to the non-WWW URL.

The problem with having both a WWW and a non-WWW URL for your website is that Google and other search engines will assume . In the past, you could only fix this by adding a few lines of code in the your .htaccess file, or by telling Google they point to the same website. But if you’re running the latest version of WordPress (2.3), it automatically does that for you! Yes, just specify in the General Options page of the administration panel what your blog URL should look like. If you add a WWW, it will redirect all non-WWW URLs, and vice versa.

The truth is, there is more to URL canonicalization than I’ve mentioned here, but this is another proof of how WordPress has grown and incorporated these neat little features. It’s also a pretty good introduction to how the world of Search Engine Optimization works.

So now the question is if you prefer having WWW in your URLs or not! I personally prefer removing the WWW because it’s shorter and neater that way. How about you? What does your blog URL look like?

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