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  • Writer's pictureBrent Payne

Canonical Tags: Rendering vs. Raw HTTP Responses


At Loud Interactive, we've seen how the digital world hinges on the nuances of SEO. One such nuance is the placement of canonical tags. While seemingly trivial, it can significantly impact how Google perceives and indexes your website.


Why This Matters

Google's crawling process involves two phases. Initially, it analyzes the raw HTTP response HTML. Later, it processes the rendered version of your webpage. The catch? Your webpage's canonical tag should be in the raw HTML. Why? Because if it's only in the rendered HTML, Google might overlook it.


Think of it like giving directions. If you change the route midway, your guests might end up at the wrong party!


What We Check

We at Loud Interactive have a keen eye for these details. Our checks involve ensuring that the canonical tag isn't playing hide and seek – it needs to be in the raw HTML, not just the rendered one.


Real-World Examples

Imagine a webpage with a canonical tag only in the rendered HTML. It's like having a secret handshake that only a few know – not very effective for welcoming all your site visitors, right?


Fixing the Issue

To align with Google's best practices, we ensure canonical tags are in the raw HTML. It’s a bit like setting up a welcome sign at your party – visible right from the start.


Deep Dive into Further Learning

To get more into the technicalities, consider these resources:

- [How JavaScript Rendering Affects Google Indexing](https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/javascript-seo-basics)

- [Comparing response and rendered HTML with Sitebulb](https://sitebulb.com/documentation/comparing-response-and-rendered-html/)

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