I have researched and read so many ‘basic intros’ and all lose me pretty quickly.
I understand the purpose and basic syntax behind a canonical url and I am using -
<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.website.com/page/" />
Now, I do not plagiarise any content, nor do I spam SEO by duplicate content of my own, so my requirement is to prevent pages being identified as duplicate, when in reality, they are not.
For me, here is the confusion, I have been told that, even after creating a single page from scratch -
- I could have both HTTP and HTTPS versions
- I could have both non-WWW and WWW versions
- I could have both trailing-slash and non-trailing slash URLs
I only create one version of a page, and normally access it by typing in
https://MyDomain.com or simply
MyDomain.com but apparently search engines or the ‘black magic’ of the internet can create 8 or more ‘virtual versions’ and in fact, I can access it by typing any of the above formats in the browser search.
How do I decide which version of my one file in one physical location should be designated as the original.
Basically I only need to say for each page ‘This is the canonical version’, but what do I put as the parameter. I have also been told that if I am stating ‘This is the page’ I can simply add -
<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.website.com/" />
i.e. without specifying the page name of ‘This page’, is this correct, do I use https, www, and end with a /
I have no idea which page Google, or another engine, considers the original, which to specify and whether to include page name and end with /
It seems such a simple requirement - ‘Hey search engines! This is the main original page!’ But I am lost how to achieve this simply and reliably.
Thanks for ANY clarification