I already have canonical links turned on in my CE 1.9 install, but if I didn't I know that I can add a canonical link to a product using custom layout XML this way:

<reference name="head">
<action method="addLinkRel">

I would like, however, to customize a particular product's canonical link and I would like to use custom XML to remove the original one before I add in the next so I don't have two links. Is this possible without modifying code?

2 Answers 2


According to /app/code/core/Mage/Page/Block/Html/Head.php method addLinkRel:

     public function addLinkRel($rel, $href)
        $this->addItem('link_rel', $href, 'rel="' . $rel . '"');
        return $this;

it operating with addItem method, which operates with $this->_data['items'] so you can basically use same way removeItem method in your xml :

    <action method="removeItem"><type>link_rel</type><href>https://www.example.html</href></action>
  • Didn't seem to work - except that if I do this: <reference name="head"> <action method="removeItem"> <type>link_rel</type> <href>https://www.example.com/old.html</href> </action> </reference><reference name="head"> <action method="addLinkRel"> <rel>canonical</rel> <href>https://www.example.com/new.html</href> </action> </reference> then all that happens is the order in which the two canonical links are output changes - so that the new link appears before the old. Odd.
    – dstep
    Apr 17, 2016 at 17:34
  • try to remove unnecessary open/closing </reference><reference name="head"> between actions. alos you can try setText method as <action method="setText"><text><![CDATA[<link rel="canonical" href="https://blog.example.com/dresses/green-dresses-are-awesome" />]]></text></action>
    – Ilja
    Apr 18, 2016 at 17:26

I have been trying to figure this out for quite a while now and none of the solutions I found worked. All I had to do to get it to work was to add another removeItem action with the same link but with ?___SID=U added to the end.

The only reason I can think that this works is that the removeItem action is looking for the URL before the URL rewrite kicks in. Don't quote me on that though :)

<reference name="head">
   <action method="removeItem"><type>link_rel</type><href>{LINK}</href></action>
   <action method="removeItem"><type>link_rel</type><href>{LINK}?___SID=U</href></action>
   <action method="addLinkRel"><rel>canonical</rel><href>{LINK}</href></action>

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