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It’s an HTML link element that lets webmasters to inform search engines about some duplicate content pages they’ve created. The tag is placed in the HEAD section of the HTML structure. Here’s what it looks like:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.example.com/” />

This tag informs that the current page is a copy of the page located under the address set in the canonical tag (href).

The main idea is that when a search engine sees this tag it does not rank that page, but transfers all the rankings to the canonical page. So in essence it’s very similar to the 301 redirect.

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