Rel=Canonical Generator – How To Generate rel=canonicals using Excel

The rel=canonical is an HTML attribute that helps search engine spiders understand which is our preferred page and which exactly we want to be indexed on search engine results.

These are only some of most common cases where we would need the use of the rel=canonical:

Pagination content issues: This HTML attribute is particularly useful if you have an e-commerce site and your site maybe suffers from massive duplicate content issues.

Parameters: it is quite common to have an e-commerce site and see a lot of filters, parameters, instead of having faceted navigation which would be the best option. Thus, what happens if we don’t have facets but filters, parameters?? And worse, what happens if these parameters, filters are already indexed on SERPs? Well in this case again we would use the rel=canonical attribute which would indicate to search engine spiders our preferred pages. In this way search engine spiders will not have to consume their crawling budget for pages that should not be crawled and indexed in the first place.

Duplicate homepage issues: There are cases where were we have www.example.com and www.example.com/home.aspx. In this case, we could 301 redirect one of the two pages to the other one or we could simply use the rel=canonical.

Internal onsite duplication: There are some cases where the same products appear across different category pages. If we cannot follow the ‘one folder deep’ structure, then we could use the rel=canonical, in order to avoid duplication.

Obviously the usefulness of the rel=canonical is not limited in the above cases. It was just a quick indicative list.

Now let’s go to the fun part… either case we find we will need to use the rel=canonical and there are some websites out there where they give you the HTML code per URL; in other words they delay you.

What you would like is a tool that automates the process so that you work faster. Now there is this tool, by using this simple Excel formula:

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 10.31.28

All you need to do is to place in column A, all the non canonical pages, either they are filters, parameters, paginated pages.

On column B you place the canonical/preferred page.

The final rel=canonical HTML attribute will be generated on column C. All you have to do is to drag and drop the cells and then send the rel=canonical attributes to your developers.

If you want to download the rel=canonical generetor (.xls) for excel, feel free to do so.

That’s it! Until next time, keep on… excelling…

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