canonical attribute and 301 redirect

Use of 301 Redirect and Canonical Tag


Most of the SEO professional are confused in making the right use of 301 Redirect and Canonical Tag. In this blog i am going to explain you the major difference between canonical tag and 301 tag, when to use and how to use.

Before moving into detail let’s first understand what is 301 redirect and canonical tags?

301 Redirect – 301 redirect is an indication to the search engine that the page has been permanently moved. All the credit (link Juice) associated to that page will be passed to new page. In terms of passing link juice using 301 redirect it takes 2 to 3 months.

Canonical Tag – Canonical tag guide the search engine that the page having multiple version. The URL specified in the canonical attribute will be treated as a original and only this page should be indexed. All other version of the page will be treated as duplicate page and that should not be indexed.


Now let’s move when to use 301 redirect and when to Canonical tag.

For the below mentioned situation 301 Redirect can be use

  • 1. When you domain is permanently moved because of following reasons –
  • a) Rebranding
  • b) Domain Expire
  • 2. Webpages replaced or permanently moved.
  • 3. For all expired Web page you want user to redirect permanently to some other page.
  • 4. For 404 error page you want to permanently redirect user to some custom page.



canonical attribute

When to use Rel= Canonical attribute –

  • 1. When you have multiple version of a page and you want to index only one page and avoid duplication.
  • 2. For some reason you don’t want to permanently redirect user to other page. In such case rel=canonical attribute can be very useful.
  • 3. To avoid duplicity you can use Canonical attribute.

301 redirecting



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