canonical_link: Definition

Submit the canonical_link [canonical_link] attribute for products that are eligible to serve on surfaces across Google and use it to ensure that your products are associated with the correct URL in Google's Search index. The URL in this attribute is not served to users but will improve Google's understanding about the product.

More details


The canonical_link [canonical_link] attribute works similarly to the 'canonical URL' markup tag, and allows you to influence which URLs Google uses for your products in our web search index.

If you use tracking or variant selection parameters in your link [link] or mobile_link [mobile_link] attributes, we recommend that you use the canonical_link [canonical _link] attribute. For example, let's say that you sell sofas that vary by colour and size. You may submit one URL for each variant's landing page using the link [link] attribute. You may then use the canonical_link [canonical_link]attribute to direct all variants of the product to the landing page of the base product, which has no variant parameters (such as size or colour) pre-selected. URLs discovered by Google's web search crawler typically link to a single base product without any pre-selected parameters.

When to use

 

Optional for each product

Use the canonical_link [canonical_link] attribute to indicate which URL you'd prefer Google to use when matching your products' landing pages with the Search index. If you do not indicate a canonical link, Google will crawl your site and set whichever URL it considers to be the most representative as the canonical link.

If you already provide a canonical URL in your product landing page markup, you do not need to provide the canonical_link [canonical_link] attribute. If you provide a value for both and those values don't match, Google will select a link based on internal signals.

You can also set a noindex tag in the html of your landing page if you want to prevent your page from being crawled and added to the web index.



Type URL (including http or https), ASCII characters only, and RFC 3986 compliant
Limits 1–2000 characters
Repeated field No

 

File format Example entry
Text feeds http://www.example.com/writing/google-pens
XML feeds <g:canonical_link>http://www.example.com/writing/google-pens</g:canonical_link>


To format your data for Content API, have a look at the Content API for Shopping.

Minimum requirements

These are the requirements that you'll need to meet to show your product. If you don't follow these requirements, we'll disapprove your product and let you know on the Diagnostics page of your Merchant Center account.


  • Make sure that your canonical link meets the requirements for canonical URLs. Learn more about requirements for canonical URLs
  • Preferably start withhttps or http and comply with RFC 3986. For example: https://www.example.com/writing/fiji-pens.
  • Use your verified domain name. Make sure that you use the domain name that you verified (during account setup or through the Website Verification tab). Learn more about how to verify and claim your domain name
  • Make sure that your canonical URLs can be crawled by Google. For example, ensure that your robots.txt file is configured correctly. Otherwise, your landing page will not appear in the search results. Learn more about robots.txt files
  • Replace any symbols or spaces with URL encoded entities. For example, if your URL contains an &, then replace it with %26.
  • Submit only one canonical_link [canonical_link] attribute for your product. If you provide multiple canonical_link [canonical_link] attributes for the same item, only one of them will be applied.


Best practices

These best practices can help you go beyond the basic requirements to optimise your product data for performance.



  • Use a stable canonical URL. The URL that you include shouldn't change unless your landing page moves. Don't use URLs with timestamps or parts that could change each time that you submit your product data. Whenever you change your URL, your landing page will need to be evaluated and crawled. This process could cause unnecessary load on your servers.
  • Use a landing page that doesn't include parameters in its URL as the destination for your canonical link. If parameters are set, Google may crawl the URL inefficiently and exclude the URL that you want to include.
  • Don't use pre-selected variants. The canonical link to your landing page should have no pre-selected variants.
  • Don't use tracking parameters in canonical links. Tracking parameters may be removed by Google's web crawler and will make the matching of your products against the search index less accurate.
  • Don't use the ads_redirect [ads_redirect] attribute for your canonical links. Redirects may not be crawled by Google's web crawler and your URL may not be included in search results.


Examples



Variants

If you have multiple URL variants of the same product, for example a dress in multiple colours or sizes, you can set the canonical_link [canonical_link] attribute to direct all variants of the product to a single base product, which has no variants pre-selected, as in the examples below:
 
Product Dress
colour blue
size small
link [link] https://example.com/dress/blue-small
canonical_link [canonical_link] https://example.com/dress

 

Product Dress
colour green
size small
link [link] https://example.com/dress/green-small
canonical_link [canonical_link] https://example.com/dress

 

Product Dress
colour blue
size large
link [link] https://example.com/dress/blue-large
canonical_link [canonical_link] https://example.com/dress

 

Product Dress
colour green
size large
link [link] https://example.com/dress/green-large
canonical_link [canonical_link] https://example.com/dress
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