What is IP Canonicalization and URL Canonicalization.

Posted on November 11th, 2016

Canonicalization is the process of selecting the appropriate website URL if many options exist. For example, if there are various options available for a website example.com such as






Here the browser loads the suitable URL and this process is called Canonicalization.


When should you use Canonicalization?

1) Same content has a different URL.

2) Different categories and tags result in URL having the same content.

3) Website URLs having both http and https that result in the same content.

4) Mobile website displaying the same content, but on a different URL/subdomain.

5) Different ports.

6) A website has both www and non-www.

7) Sharing syndicated content.


Disadvantages of Canonical URL’s

1) The same version may have different URL extensions which lead to duplication.

2) Search engines robots treat the same version to different URL versions.

3) Link juice spreads among all these duplicate pages.

4) Lead to internal content duplication.


URL Canonicalization

URL Canonicalization is the process of selecting the appropriate URL if there are many options of URL’s available. It is also known as URL normalization and it is done to reduce and to have a standard URL than having many URL’s.

Add a rewrite rule in .htaccess file.

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example\.com$ [NC]

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1 [L,R=301]


IP Canonicalization

It is the process of redirecting IP address to the main domain name hosted with it. It is same as URL canonicalization and it saves your website from being duplicated

Duplicate content is content that is copied from any other website and pasted onto your website. Duplicate content causes many issues for the search engine crawlers. Crawlers can easily understand the uniqueness of the website contents. Sometimes search engine shows that website contents are duplicated.


Requirements to setup IP Canonicalization

1) You must require a dedicated IP address.

2) Add a rewrite rule in .htaccess file.

 RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^xxx\.xxx\.xxx\.xxx [nc,or]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example\.com [nc]

RewriteRule (.*) http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]


Replace xxx\.xxx\.xxx\.xxx with your dedicated IP address and replace example.com with your actual domain name.


Points to remember setting Canonicalization

1) Do not use canonicalization in a paginated archive.

A paginated archive is the splitting of a page into many pages having different URL’s so it is difficult for the search engines to check these pages.

2) Using URL removal tool in canonicalization will remove all versions of a URL from a search, so do not use URL removal tools in canonicalization. URL removal tools are provided by the search engines to quicken loading times

3) Do not specify different URLs as canonical for the same page.

4) For setting canonicalization use https over http.

5) Use 301 redirect rule than 302 redirect rule on Internal Affiliate Redirects.

6) Maintain Consistent Linking Conventions.


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