I think the authoritative use of the word "canonical" in the SEO discipline dates back to this 2006 blog post by Matt Cuts on cononicalization:
Personally, I recall the first use of the word in referring to penalizing sites that were buying up many keyword stuffed URLs and pointing them all to the same site, aka "Canonical URLs."
My curiosity caused me to discover that there are math and science uses of the word, AND that the term CNAME in DNS means "canonical name."
At this point, and on this website in particular, I see that word tossed around so frequently and I suspect some of the uses of it are technically wrong, or that some of its uses could better be served with a different word or phrase. But I could be wrong about this, fueled by my less-than-complete understanding of what canonical means in all of its SEO contexts.
- what are the correct uses for the word canonical (in SEO context)?
And, if my suspicions are correct,
- what are some of the common mis-uses of the word,
- and what should be used in its place?