“You’ll Never Believe How Easy it is to Remove Canonical URLs in WordPress – Get Rid of Duplicate Content Fast!”

Canonical URLs in WordPress: What You Need to Know

Canonical URLs are a vital aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) in WordPress. They help search engines identify the primary version of a webpage and consolidate ranking signals. However, there may be instances where you need to remove canonical URLs from your website. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the significance of canonical URLs and outline how to remove them in WordPress.

Understanding Canonical URLs

Canonical URLs are tags that tell search engines which URL to consider as the primary version of a webpage. This helps to eliminate duplicate content issues and improve SEO performance. If two pages have the same or similar content, search engines can find it challenging to determine which page to rank for a specific keyword. By using canonical URLs, search engines can identify the preferred version of the page and consolidate ranking signals.

Why You May Need to Remove Canonical URLs in WordPress

There are several reasons why you may need to remove canonical URLs in WordPress. One common reason is when you’re migrating your website or merging content from multiple pages. In such cases, you may have to remove canonical URLs to ensure that Google and other search engines recognize the new page structure. Similarly, if a page is no longer relevant or displays outdated content, you may want to remove it from your website’s sitemap. This removal informs search engines that the page is no longer relevant and shouldn’t direct any traffic to it. Removing canonical URLs in such cases ensures that the page isn’t indexed and doesn’t affect your website’s SEO performance negatively.

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How to Remove Canonical URLs in WordPress

Removing canonical URLs in WordPress involves modifying code. Therefore, you’ll need access to your website’s code editor and administrative privileges. Here are the steps involved:

Step 1: Access Your Website’s Code Editor

Log in to your WordPress backend and navigate to Appearance > Editor. Select the theme you want to edit from the drop-down list, and then click on the header.php file from the Templates list on the right side of the editor. If you’re using a custom theme, your header.php file may be under a different name.

Step 2: Locate the Current Canonical URL Code

Once you open the header.php file, you’ll see a code that looks like this:

<link rel="canonical"
href="https://www.yourdomain.com/your-post">

This code indicates the current canonical URL for the page. To remove it, delete the code entirely from the header.php file. However, note that removing the rel canonical tag entirely may result in indexing and ranking issues. Therefore, you must inform search engines that the page has a new canonical URL if you’ve created one.

Step 3: Update the Page’s Canonical URL

If you’ve created a new canonical URL for the page, you’ll need to update the code to reflect the change.

Option 1: Creating a Plugin

Creating a plugin is often the easiest way to update your website’s canonical URLs. Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to your WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins > Add New.
  2. In the search bar, type in ‘Header and Footer Scripts.’
  3. Install and activate the Header and Footer Scripts plugin.
  4. Navigate to Settings > Header and Footer Scripts.
  5. Scroll down and locate the ‘Scripts in header’ box, then insert the following code:
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<link rel="canonical"
href="https://www.yourdomain.com/new-url">

Be sure to replace ‘https://www.yourdomain.com/new-url’ with your preferred canonical URL for the page.

  1. Save the changes.

Once you’ve updated the canonical URL, Google and other search engines will recognize the new URL as the primary version for the page.

Option 2: Updating the Function.php File

If you’re comfortable with coding, updating the function.php file is another option for modifying your website’s canonical URLs. Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Appearance > Theme Editor and select the functions.php file.
  2. Add the following code to the file:

function remove_canonical_url() {

remove_action( 'wp_head', 'rel_canonical' );

}

add_action( 'init', 'remove_canonical_url' );

  1. Save the changes.

Once you’ve made these updates, Google and other search engine crawlers won’t index the page.

Conclusion

Canonical URLs are a crucial aspect of SEO in WordPress, but there may be instances where you need to remove them. Whether you’re updating URLs during website migrations or preventing indexing of particular pages, removing canonical URLs correctly is critical to maintaining your website’s SEO performance. WordPress offers two main methods for removing canonical URLs: creating a plugin or updating the function.php file. Whichever method you choose, it’s essential to back up your website before making any changes, just in case you accidentally remove critical components. By following these steps, you can remove canonical URLs in WordPress without harming your website’s performance.

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