Search engine optimization is all about optimizing a website to improve its ranking position in the organic results returned by the search engines. To optimize a website properly, the SEO experts have to use several methods, which are known as SEO tools, and Canonical Tags and 301 Redirect are two such important SEO tools, which help in optimizing a website, flawlessly. The duplicate content issue is a common problem that the SEO experts face while optimizing websites. Many websites with different URLs are seen having duplicate contents and this can lead to confusion and ranking problems.
To check the problem of duplicate contents, Canonical Tags and 301 Redirect are used by the SEO consultants all over the world, as well as in India. If properly used, both these two methods can be very effective in avoiding duplicate content issues. In order to get a good ranking in the SERPs, certain important factors are to be considered and one such factor is focusing on the important keywords. The website contents should focus on the main keywords to raise the ranking position. The title tags and meta descriptions are very important as well.
It is essential to know the distinction between the canonical tags and 301 redirect and identify the need for using these two tools. Wrongly implementing these two methods can lead to undesired results and may affect the optimization process negatively. A canonical tag or a canonical link is an HTML element and this helps the webmasters and SEO experts in avoiding duplicate content issues. This tag specifies the canonical URL or the preferred version of a web page and signals it to the search engines. In case, if there are two web pages with same page content but different URLs, then the canonical tags will refer the second version to the original web page. The canonical tags are used by the SEO experts for two main reasons – one, when the content on the web page is repeated, and another, when it becomes difficult to generate unique URLs.
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect, which is used to redirect one URL to another URL. This sends the website visitors from the URL they have originally typed to a different URL. 301 redirect is used to rename or rebrand a website with a different URL and also, to direct the traffic from other URLs to a different website owned and managed by the same organization. 301 redirect also helps in maximizing the domain authority. To help the website visitors get the information they are looking for, 301 redirect send them to the right web address. There are certain important factors that need to be considered while using 301 redirect, such as a 301 redirect should be set up between the “http://” and “http://www” versions of the domains. One should not move to a new domain without first, setting up a 301 redirect.
Thus, it can be concluded that canonical tag and 301 redirect are two important and powerful tools that are used to avoid duplicate content issues, as well as to optimize the websites and make them more user-friendly. These two tools can be very useful and effective; only, one has to know when to use which, to get the best SEO results.