My website has canonical link, but a SEO website reports that it has not.

Is the place of the canonical link important? I placed it in the <head> tag after other meta tags and links.

  • 2
    What site are you using to test your SEO? If you can tell us what tool you're using you might be able to give you more help with it. Also, what does it mean when you say empty? does the tool just not find it or if you look at the source code to yourself do you see that it doesn't have any contents in that tag? Mar 29 at 14:47

The <link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/"> tag must be somewhere wihtin the <head>…</head> block (as explained here), no matter its position relatively to other elements within this block.

To debug your problem:

  • check the syntax of the tag
  • make sure that a cache is not serving an old version of your page (e.g., if you use a template system, like Smarty)

Rather than relying entirely on a third-party tool, it would behoove you to check the source code view in your browser.

You can do this either by using the source tab in the Developer Tools, or by simply typing view-source:https://example.com Scroll down to the end of the head section, where you stated that you believe the canonical tag should be, and positively confirm that it exists.

If the canonical is missing, then you need to retrace your steps and troubleshoot your source code. If you see it, then consider other possible alternatives.

  • Where is the canonical tag supposed to point, and is it doing so here?

  • Are all the URLs being referenced visible and crawlable, or is one or more set to noindex?

Finally, if everything appears normal, consider a different SEO tool and perhaps you will find there was just an issue with the original tool itself.

Always trust but verify.

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