Edgaras profile

Edgaras Benediktavičius

Product designer and web developer

Canonical links

I like the idea of owning my own content (posts, articles etc.). At the same time it’s useful to take advantage of other platforms such as Medium to reach out to broader audiences.

But who has time to create unique content for all of these platforms? The answer is — you don’t have to. You can take advantage of POSSE: publish on your own site, syndicate elsewhere.

But then what about search engines, wouldn’t they punish you for copy/pasting the same content around? No. Here canonical links come to help us out.

Essentially, a canonical link is just a meta tag that you add to your html. For example, this post you are reading would have a canonical link meta tag in html head section:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
	<head>
		<link rel="canonical" href="https://edgaras.com/posts/canonical-links">
	</head> 
<body> 
	... 
</body> 
</html>

You don’t have to add this meta tag if you only post in one place (e.g. your blog). But if you republish content to other platforms, canonical link is recommended.

Here is, for example, how to canonical links using some of the popular publications:

However, be aware, some of the platforms doesn’t allow you to set canonical links:

Substack doesn’t allow writers to set canonical links, forcing them to publish on Substack first. This issue is by design — they want to be the first platform to publish your original content and be ranked higher than your other places by search engines

@DesignJokes

Update: It seems now canonical links are working now, if you connected a custom domain to Substack (Which costs $50 as a one-time fee).

Further reading

If you're interested in learning more about canonical links, I suggest exploring additional resources for further reading.