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Canonical issues in WordPress or any website are related to duplicate content that may appears on two or more pages. When a duplicate content is available on website, it may impact your website’s search engine ranking, making it hard for search engine to choose between contents to rank.
A canonical URL, can be identified as an HTML tag rel=”canonical”, which is used by search engines to find the latest or original version of content when there are multiple versions of a page either on the same website or on different websites.
In this article, we will learn how to fix canonical issues in WordPress.
#1 Choosing URL structure
There might be chances that the URL structure of your site is accidentally creating duplicate content or possibly redirecting.
There are some URL variations, which are identified as different pages by search engines :
- http://www.examplesite.com – this has “www” included
- http://examplesite.com – this has no “www” included
- https://examplesite.com – this has “https” instead of “http”
- http://www.examplesite.com/ – this has a slash at the end
Take a decision on final accessing of your website through similar prefix, https://, www and make sure this setting is consistent across your website.
Follow this step to setup the canonical structure in WordPress :
- Login to your WordPress dashboard.
- Navigate to, Setting > General.
- Set both the ‘WordPress Address (URL)’ and ‘Site Address (URL)’ fields to either include or exclude the ‘www’ prefix, according to your preference.
- Save changes.
Tip: Lookout for the duplicate categories, tags and other archives.
#2 WordPress Plugin to fix canonical issues
WordPress plugin are built to add functions and features to website. There are some famous WordPress plugins for SEO purpose on WordPress directory like Yoast SEO, All in One SEO, or Rank Math to automatically generate and manage canonical URLs for your site.
Most of the plugins will setup the canonical URL automatically redirection and helping search engines to find original content. other option is the manual setup which you can add during providing meta description of the page or post on the website.
It is always recommended to check your permalink setup on newly installed WordPress website, by default, the permalink of your website is set to “plain” or some other custom structure.
Permalink is basically the URL of the website’s post and pages.
You can understand by example of this website URL. In address bar, you can see the URL is
- Navigate to your WordPress dashboard, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Permalinks.’
- Change permalink setting to “Post Name”, it is recommended for search engine ranking.
- Save changes.