Depending on what you mean by "standard HTML", it might be a bit tough to automate. Unless you are using a CMS, there's nowhere to grab the canonical URL itself. If you are using a common CMS, most of them already have canonical link plug-ins available.
5:21 pm on Sep 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
so the only real way is to basically put link on each page manually?
I have one more question
does that mean if a website is placing this link under the templates editable region (note: not including within editable region), does that mean that this site is actually using CMS?
Are you talking about Dreamweaver? I haven't used it since the canonical link was introduced. But, from what I recall, that does sound like someone is manually adding the actual canonical URL to every page.
7:33 pm on Sep 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
It is Dreamweaver and Yes it does not, but then what we are left with?
There may be some sort of php snippet that can basically strip or simply copy the URL before any "?" mark or something?
11:07 pm on Sep 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
But where would the url be sourced from? You don't want a canonical link to be generated on the fly - it should be actually written into the page.
If you're concerned about stripping any bad query strings, I'd do that in your own .htaccess file, not with the canonical link tag that depends on the search engines getting it right.