Can self-referencing canonical tag(rel="canonical") inside article improve google rating?

The Case:

  1. Company have 40 sites with original content and 1 main site with some of 40 sites articles.

  2. Main site have rel="canonical" in each article

Should article in original site have also rel="canonical" for self-referencing?


inside main network site(reference to other site):<link href="http://site7.com/article25" rel="canonical" />

inside original network site(self-reference):<link href="http://site7.com/article25" rel="canonical"/>

Thanks in advance

2 Answers 2


In terms of self-referencing rel=canonical improving ranking (rating), the answer is no.

rel=canonical can help with ranking in other situations however.

The reason i'm adding this as an additional answer is that I don't quite agree with John (that it won't help with rankings), Google has indicated that in terms of passing along link equity/PR/whatever, that the rel=canonical acts similar to a 301 redirect (with a degree of decay), so it is technically possible to consolidate back-links to a canonical URL and thus improve the ranking for that page.

  • ...example of what? Mar 21, 2011 at 21:25

Will it improve your ranking? No. All rel="canonical" do is help Google know which URL is the primary URL for duplicate content. It doesn't influence the rankings as it is not an indicator of relevance or quality (and never was intended to serve this purpose).

  • Don't agree, if google recognize duplicate content he will down the rating.My Question still remain
    – Ben
    Mar 17, 2011 at 18:25
  • Your comment makes no sense. I said it won't help your rankings. Not that duplicate content is good. If you use rel="canonical" on all of the duplicate content your rankings will not suffer. The only thing that should happen is the duplicate content is filtered out of the search results and the original pages will remain.
    – John Conde
    Mar 17, 2011 at 18:35
  • Agreed with John. So your question should be: Which url do I want to appear in the SERPS for the shared articles?
    – Goboozo
    Mar 18, 2011 at 10:57

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