Duplicate Pages

There are times when you may have pages that are identical or substantially similar to each other. When you have duplicate pages, it’s a good idea to add canonical tags, which prevent problems related to having duplicate pages or content on your site. Canonical tags indicate which URL a search engine should display when somebody searches for the content on a particular page.

What's the purpose of a canonical tag?

Imagine an ecommerce site has two distinct pages:

https://example.com/my-new-product

https://example.com/my-new-product?color=green

Alternatively, imagine a law firm website with two distinct pages:

https://www.hamplaw.com/

https://www.hamplaw.com/home

Both pages have identical text. However, the second page displays only images of the green version of the product, which might not be the best initial experience for most site visitors.

If the site's owner wanted a search engine to display the first URL in its results (but not the second), the owner can add canonical tags to both pages. This indicates to search engines that the first URL is the "best" version to display.

Without canonical tags, a search engine might display the less optimal version.

How are canonical tags used?

For most sites, using canonical tags protects against duplicate content issues. Our platform will then automatically add canonical tags in the appropriate place on every page.

For example, if you enable this feature and later run a marketing campaign that requires adding a special code to the end of a page's URL, the campaign's version of the URL will never replace the existing URL in displayed search results.

Here's how to activate canonical tags: 

  • Hover over your name in the top right corner of the dashboard
  • Click “Firm Details”
  • Under “Preferences,” click “YES” to enable canonical URL tags for the site(s) in your account.

This automatic setting is also useful if you want search engines to quickly recognize a URL change across your site. For instance, if you've recently enabled SSL for your website, a given page's URL will now start with https:// instead of http://.  Enabling canonical tags tells search engines that the page's new URL should replace the old version in search results, which could help speed up the process.

Customizing a canonical tag

By default, the LawLytics platform automatically adds a URL for a page. To change a particular canonical tag, you can easily edit it from within the control panel:

  • Go to the page for which you would like to customize the canonical tag
  • Click “SEO Controls” in the lower right corner of the page
  • Enter your custom canonical tag