How to Add Canonical Tag to Post Copies

Whether you’re already using or just going to use my crossposting plugins, you may be wondering, if there is any way to prevent the content duplicates?

Of course it is! There are actually different ways to handle this, for example you can add an additional category to crossposted posts and noindex posts inside it. But using cross-domain <link rel="canonical"> tag is the easiest way, here is the official doc in Google.

Using rel=&quot;canonical&quot; in WordPress Multisite

Right now I am going to show you how to implement it for Simple Multisite Crossposting.

In case you’re not using any SEO plugins, then you can easily implement it with a simple code snippet from below. Read also how to insert it to the website. If you’re super-uncomfortable with code snippet, there is an add-on as well.

add_filter( 'get_canonical_url', function( $canonical_url, $post ) {
	// PLEASE SPECIFY HERE THE MAIN BLOG ID (how to find it out below)
	$main_blog_id = 1;

	if( ! is_multisite() || $main_blog_id == get_current_blog_id() || ! ( $data = get_post_meta( $post->ID, '_crosspost_to_data', true ) ) || ! is_array( $data ) || ! array_key_exists( $main_blog_id, $data ) ){
		return $canonical_url;

	switch_to_blog( $main_blog_id );
	$permalink = get_permalink( $data[ $main_blog_id ] );

	return $permalink ? $permalink : $canonical_url;

}, 9999, 2 );

You can insert this code “as is” to the specific website where you would like a canonical tag to be displayed. The only thing you have to specify in this code is the ID of the main blog which URLs you would like to be displayed in rel=canonical tags.

How to find a blog ID? Easy enough. In your Network Admin please go to Sites page and then click “Edit” link near the site you need. Then please look at the page URL:

how to get multisite network site ID
We can see here that site ID is 2.

So you can replace the only line in the code above like this:

$main_blog_id = 2;

Or just use the add-on :)

Download Simple Multisite Crossposting – Canonicals 1.0

You might need this add-on in two cases:

  1. You do not know or do not want to use the code snippet as a solution.
  2. You don’t have a “main website” and would like to add <link rel="canonical"> tag to post copies, regardless of the website where the original post is created.

Using rel=&quot;canonical&quot; for different WordPress sites

Right now I am going to show you how to implement it for Simple WordPress Crossposting.

Below is the snippet you need to paste to the website where you would like rel="canonical" tag to be displayed. If you don’t know where to insert it, please read this guide.

add_filter( 'get_canonical_url', function( $canonical_url, $post ) {

	$main_site_url = '';
	// if the post came from a $main_site_url domain, then change the canonical tag
	if( false !== strpos( $post->guid, $main_site_url ) ) {
		$canonical_url = str_replace( site_url(), $main_site_url, $canonical_url );
	// you can add conditions for multiple domains as well

	return $canonical_url;

}, 9999, 2 );

Need more help?