Which Link Rel Tags are Most Important to the SEO

Do It YourSelf SEO Study Module #07- 20

The Link Rel Tags

A close second to the Meta tags studied on the previous page are a series of tags which describe the relationship of the page with other linked resources. Some on this list also play a very important role in the speed of rendering your webpage. These are known as the <Link Rel> Tags and normally appear in the document head just under your Meta Tag data:

<link rel="canonical" href="">
<link rel="stylesheet" href="">
<link rel="shortcut icon" href="">

The first of these tags [canonical] is used to specify the exact web address for your page and will assist in improving google's pagerank for them. As an example, these next two addresses are treated as two different links even though they ultimately call the same html page:

www.MySite.com/MyPage.html and

Google (at least) will then use your canonical address recommendation and index both of these as a single page. Make sure you use the full internet address in the href="".

The next two tags [stylesheet and shortcut icon] are speed assists.

Link Rel stylesheet and external .css files

Use Link Rel to locate your .css file with ease for the media types you target eg. <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="MyCss.css" media="all">. This usage can allow for a faster page load time and can result in a better google page-speed score for your web page.

Link Rel shortcut icon, the favicon.ico icon

Your favicon.ico icon is that little image you see in the browser bar next to the webpage address. Your website doesn't need to have this icon. That's like saying your website also doesn't need to have any H1, H2 etc. tags.

But this use of Link Rel= is also speed trick and will give you a better page-speed score. <link rel="shortcut icon" href="favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon">.

Some sever software is pre-programmed to look for this file. Some versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer will actually delay page rendering while it searches for this icon.

The favicon.ico icon (cont.)

Because many SEO coders are not properly trained in website administration techniques, they miss this point. The better quality website designers never miss this point as they have greater HTML and CSS knowledge. Professional coders are generally unaware that this is actually an SEO step because they simply tend to provide highly optimized pages to their clients from the onset and simply include it.

So, this information is actually a part of web design 101 and if you currently pay for SEO and don't have a shortcut icon (even a fully transparent favicon), then you should be smelling daffodils and hydrangeas as you have been led up the garden path.

The default name for this icon is favicon.ico. But you can rename this with the link rel command too, or even have several favicon.ico icons on your site.

You can also just drop a favicon.ico into your www root (recommended) and this action alone will speed up any web page rendering process from your site. But adding the location in your HTML gives you control over this entire process.

Where to get a favicon.ico icon.

You can generate favicon.ico files using programs like IfranView which is a small free image tool you can download from our free downloads page. Or check this link for some examples of favicon.ico icons courtesy of Google. This will give you an idea of the icon image sizes to use. Some of these favicons are also free for you to use.

Link Rel and declaring canonical paths

So, to improve your page rank, enforce a single web page destination in Google's search index by using canonical.

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.some.com/page.html">

www.some.com/page.html & some.com/page.html will then be indexed as the same web page and not as two different pages.

link rel=stylesheet example

<link rel="stylesheet" href="MyCss.css" type="text/css" media="all" title="all" charset="ISO-8859-1" />

Let's now use our META tag knowledge with a tool.

DIY SEO Online Training Course Page index for Module 07


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The use of META Tags in SEO     Subscribe to Seo Course RSS feed

How to Optimize META Tags and an Introduction to the KeyWords Meta Tag
Which Meta Tags are Most Important to the SEO
Which Link Rel Tags are Most Important to the SEO
An Online Meta Tag Analyzer for SEO

Appendix: You may enjoy to further research the following not so common references made in training module #07: