Last 30 days I experianced real ranking and CTR boost on Google Search, only with setting up pages as canonical.

New Google Search Console when indexing pages, also fetches information if page is (user defined) canonical or not. If not, google set up a canonical page automatically (which sometimes may cause google assign false page as canonical).

Now i have this challenge, my root page ranks very high and all other versions (/, index.php, index.html) are redirected to the root BUT when i let root page be indexed by search console, they dont show information about canical page because it is not set up.

Now, arranging pages as canonical surely helps Google to rank pages, but i am confused about canonicalised homepage. should i do it or not. (or am i just overthining all this so that I lost clear meaning about canonical pages)

Thanks for any information!

  • If URLs are redirecting to the root page, then you are forcing them to canonicalise to it. – Tony McCreath Apr 29 '19 at 0:49
  • thanks for respond @TonyMcCreath... let me be more specific: do i have to put rel=canonincal on the main page so that google sees it? – paranoic Apr 29 '19 at 0:51
  • The canonical tag is just a way to confirm that the page is the one you want indexed. It's not required but it is good practice to add it to all pages. – Tony McCreath Apr 30 '19 at 1:13

Yes, it is very important to put a canonical tag on the homepage of your website. It depends on your website URL, If your website URL is https://example.com then your canonical URL should be <link rel="canonical" href="https://example.com" />.

If your website is using www like https://www.example.com then your canonical URL should be <link rel="canonical" href="https://www.example.com" />.

If your website URL is non-www like https://example.com and you are using <link rel="canonical" href="https://www.example.com" /> then it will cause serious issues.

The same process for "https" and "http" as it depends on the URL you are using for your homepage and canonical URL should be the same as your website URL.

Also If there are other pages you are redirecting them to your home page then put a canonical tag <link rel="canonical" href="https://yourhomepage.com" /> on these pages.

  • Note that the <link> tag does not use and does not need a closing slash and never has in HTML. – Rob Apr 29 '19 at 12:03
  • yes, it does not need a closing slash but it does not matter @Rob – Khalil Apr 29 '19 at 12:09
  • I saw a canonical link of a famous news website BBC they have a closing slash in their canonical link tag <link rel="canonical" href="https://www.bbc.com/" /> as it doesn't cause any problem. – Khalil Apr 29 '19 at 12:32
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    It would be more helpful to follow the actual HTML specification and not someone's web site no matter how famous they are. The closing slash is only allowed due to past implementations of XHTML which would break many sites if it was disallowed. In HTML, the slash has no meaning and does nothing. Browsers are instructed to ignore it so it is pointless to have it there. – Rob Apr 29 '19 at 12:36
  • I agree with you as backslash is necessary if you are using XHTML with html however in HTML it is not necessary, you don't use it in HTML but I want to convey that it didn't cause any issue regarding Search Engine Optimization. – Khalil Apr 29 '19 at 12:46

Yes, it's a best practice to place the canonical tag on every page of your website, including the front page.

You say you are already redirecting other versions to the canonical version, however, what happens when you put a variable, like a campaign or page offset. Consider the following examples:

  • example.com
  • example.com/?utm_campaign=Rss
  • example.com/?offset=25

The 3 point to the same page, but without the canonical tag, search engines might see them as different pages.

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