Function and usage of rel_canonical() in wordpress


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    rel_canonical() is a function in WordPress that is used to output the canonical URL of a post, page, or other singular content. The canonical URL is the preferred URL for a piece of content, which helps search engines understand which version of a URL you want to appear in search results. This is particularly important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as it helps prevent duplicate content issues.

    Function: rel_canonical()


    • To output the rel="canonical" link tag in the head of your HTML document for singular queries.
    • It helps search engines to identify the preferred version of a webpage, especially in cases where multiple URLs lead to the same content.



    This function is typically used in the header.php file of your WordPress theme. It doesn't need any parameters because it automatically generates the canonical URL based on the current post or page being viewed.

    How It Works:

    1. Check for Singular Queries: The function first checks if the current query is for a singular post (like a single post, page, or custom post type).
    2. Get Canonical URL: If it is a singular query, WordPress calculates the canonical URL. This URL is the preferred URL that you want search engines to index.
    3. Output Canonical Link Tag: The function then outputs a <link> tag with rel="canonical" in the head section of your HTML, pointing to the calculated canonical URL.

    Example Scenario:

    • Suppose you have a blog post accessible via multiple URLs (due to tags, categories, or other reasons).
    • Without a canonical URL, search engines might see these as duplicate content.
    • Using rel_canonical(), WordPress will output a canonical link in the head of the document, telling search engines which version of the URL is the primary one.

    Important Notes:

    • The function is part of WordPress core, so it's available in any standard WordPress installation.
    • It's particularly useful for SEO, as it directs search engine crawlers to the correct URL, avoiding content duplication issues.

    In summary, rel_canonical() is a simple yet powerful tool in WordPress for managing the canonical URLs of your content, ensuring that search engines index your site correctly and efficiently.

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