Can we use rel=canonical in the body of the content page?

Rel=canonical is an Html tag introduced by major search engines to address the duplicate content problem. Learn what is the impact of placing the rel=canonical tag in the BODY of the page, instead of the HEAD tag.

Almost all bloggers and webmasters would know what is rel="canonical" tag. If you don't know, here is the basic definition:

The rel=canonical tags tells search engines that the url mentioned in the canonical tag is the original source of the content in the page and search engines may choose to ignore the other sources of it.

Consider this scenario:

You can written a good article about your company on your personal blog. Your employer noticed it and they want to re publish it in their company website and you can't refuse the honor. Now, if someone search for the same information in Google, which page Google should show? Your personal blog or the page in the company page? In most scenarios, the company website would be more authentic and established, so search engines may choose to show the company website in the search results instead of your original source.

This is where the rel="canonical" tag come in to effect. If your article is published in more than one places, you can use this special HTML tag to tell search engines about the original source of the article and direct search engines to show the original page in the search engines.

If your article is published in multiple sources, in each of the source, use the rel=canonical as shown below:

<LINK rel="canonical" href="the original url" />

Use the original URL of the article for the "href' attribute in the above HTML tag. Even though Google would index each of the pages where the article is published, it would show the original source in the search results.

The above HTML tag should be placed with the <HEAD></HEAD> tags of your web page.

Can we use rel="canonical" tag in the BODY part of the web page?

Many people have asked me if they can use the canonical link in the BODY part of the html pages. I myself wanted an answer for this since I wanted to use this tag in the body portion of an article in case where my article was cross posted in another site and Google decided to show the other site as the original source in search results. The answer I found for the question "Can I use rel=canonical tag inside the BODY of the html page" was not in favor of me. It appears that Google wouldn't respect the tag if it is placed inside the <BODY></BODY> tags.

Matt Cutts from Google explained few reasons why Google wouldn't respect the rel=canonical tag if it is placed within the BODY tags.

Many websites allow authors to edit the content using HTML. It is highly possible that authors would abuse this feature to steal traffic and ranking from authority websites to their personal blogs.

So, if you like to use the canonical links for your pages, make sure you place them in the <HEAD></HEAD> tags.

Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including,, and many more.

Follow Tony John or read 638 articles authored by Tony John

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Guest Author: Samba03 Jul 2012

Sometime finding original article is a hard task, little tough to know who have posted as an original article. The tag rel="canonical" helps search engine at least to identify the original article.

Author: Latha Lukose04 Jul 2012 Member Level: Gold   Points : 0

Tony, this was new for me. Thank for this information. will keep this in mind.

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