How To Set the Canonical URL for a Post or Page in WordPress

Define the “Original Source” To Protect SEO
Using the Canonical Setting

When ever we utilize a piece of duplicate content – whether on our own site or cross-site – its important to consider what we tell Google about that piece.

If you are reblogging a piece of content, the canonical field is the “SEO correct” way to tell Google that the original lists “over there”.

Depending on what you are doing this may or may not replace the need to include an in post dofollow link.

The WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin (which replaces the older AIO, Platinum and Headspace SEO plugins) makes this super simple.

Simply fill in the Canonical URl field with the URL link to the original copy of the post (regardless of whether it is on your site or someone elses).  Piece of cake!

When republishing the same piece on your own site over and over – such as with a monthly webinar announcement – it’s actually better to also use the “noindex” setting in addition. That tells Google to essentially skip over the piece and in that way only “see” the original in the SERPs.

Sometimes the announcements, schedules, etc that we publish routinely are for our readers… and very confusing to Google. Using canonical and (where appropriate) noindex will help Google understand.

There are other important uses for canonical at a site-wide level, however hopefully this post makes it easy for you to to understand the in-post settings and why they matter.

Canonical, with or without noindex, is your friend in minimizing duplicate content problems (some of which are inherent to WordPress and other CMS systems).

~ Kimberly Castleberry ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing


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24 Comments on "How To Set the Canonical URL for a Post or Page in WordPress"

3 years 1 month ago

Currently im using 303 to redirect all 404 pages, btw how much time google takes to deindex those 303 redirected pages ?. does WordPress themes 404 page sends 404 status or just page not found messages ?

3 years 1 month ago

Hi Kim,

Thanks for sharing this tip , I always like to drop in to your blog and see your latest updates and advice. take care Rosemary

3 years 1 month ago

Hi Kim
Thanks for the information. Just to clarify, whenever I am posting another person’s article I have to go into YOAST each time to put in the canonical url?

3 years 1 month ago

Hi Kim

Wow that was quick thank you for your reply! I don’t do this often and have always cited the source so it is good to know better to use the canonical url in YOAST. I am launching a new travel website and will most probably use a lot more cited information on that one.

3 years 1 month ago

Thanks for this useful guide. Rel Canonical is one of the things that SEOmoz said could be brought up at a job interview for an seo position. I bet mentioning Yoast will get you an advantage over other applicants.