From MediaWiki.org
Jump to: navigation, search

Note Note: As of mediawiki 1.21, canonical urls feature is inbuilt. See $wgEnableCanonicalServerLink for more info.

MediaWiki extensions manualManual:Extensions
Crystal Clear action run.png

Release status:Extension status beta

CanonURL screenshot.jpg
DescriptionTemplate:Extension#description Adds the canonical links to the head of Mediawiki pages according to Google Canonicalization Content Guidelines
Author(s)Template:Extension#username (Abhi M Balakrishnantalk)
Latest versionTemplate:Extension#version 0.3 (24 March 2013)
MediaWikiTemplate:Extension#mediawiki 1.20
PHPTemplate:Extension#php 5.3
LicenseTemplate:Extension#license GPL
Download Mirror 1
Mirror 2
ExampleTemplate:Extension#example Secpedia
seo, canonical, url
Hooks usedTemplate:Extension#hook

Translate the CanonURL extension if it is available at translatewiki.net

Check usage and version matrix.

Adds the canonical links to the head of Mediawiki pages according to Google Canonicalization Content Guidelines to avoid duplicate content issues.


Many of the Mediawiki installations out there uses Short URLs including Wikipedia. Almost all these installations makes the URLs short and easy to remember. However, this makes the content available in both long URLs and short URLs.

For Example:
Main Page of Wikipedia can be accessed from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page and

Even though a normal user is not going to get disturbed by this issue, it can create major problems in search engine rankings. [1]

There are two known methods to fix this issue:
1. Redirect long URLs to short URLs automatically[2] or
2. Specify your canonical.[3]

This extensions makes use of the second method, by specifying the canonical URL. In this method, content is still accessible through both the URLs, but the short URL is set as the canonical URL. Thus search engines will list short URLs only.

Wikipedia deals with this problem a third way by using robots.txt to disallow indexing of the long form url (aka http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Main_Page). Thus the search engine should only see the short version. However, Google does not recommend blocking crawler access to duplicate content on website, whether with a robots.txt file or other methods.[4]


  • Download and place the file(s) in a directory called CanonURL in your extensions/ folder.
  • Add the following code at the bottom of your LocalSettings.php:
    require_once "$IP/extensions/CanonURL/CanonURL.php";
  • Clear the cache of your browser
  • Check the HTML source and confirm the presence of following line before
    <link rel="canonical" href="CANONICAL_URL_OF_CURRENT_PAGE" />
  • YesY Done - Navigate to Special:Version on your wiki to verify that the extension is successfully installed.