Sep 4, 2020 by   MagicByteSolutuions   0   1554 views

Beginner’s Guide: What are Canonical Issues and How to Fix Them

SEO is a vast topic, and there is no magical recipe which will help you in improving visibility and getting instant traffic overnight. To acquire the best, you have to make sure that you are not making any big mistakes. One of the common SEO problem for websites is Canonical issues which are basically caused by duplicate content. If you have similar and very identical content on more than one URL, then it can result in indexing problems. And worse hits when canonical issues dilute your link equity which further holds power to harm your search rankings. Every problem has a solution and so do there is one for canonical problems. Once you learn how to recognize and fix duplicate issues on your website, then you can sure-short avoid canonical problems and also the difficulties which come with it. Best is you can fix these issues, and worst is you can unintentionally create such issues on your website. So to save yourself from being vulnerable to potential problems beforehand seek the help of  SEO Company in Australia.

In Other Words: To make you understand in a simple way, let’s support our statement with a real-life example. For Instance, a website will load its homepage for all of the following URLs:

Now, the exact same page will display for each of these URLs. But, each page has a different URL, so search engines like Google and Bing understand them as four different pages. And further, it creates a duplicate content problem which can be a significant issue for SEO.

Now, the real question that arises is why canonical issues are problematic?

  • First and foremost, Google at no cost want’s to include duplicate content in its index. So, when it discovers duplicate pages, so by default, it picks one URL and excludes other URLs from its search results. The major problem will be made if Google selects a URL that isn’t the desired URL that you prefer to get an index for.
  • Secondly, if the content on the website is accessible via multiple URL’s, then other websites will link to different URLs when citing the content on your site. In this scenario, it will diversify your link equity across multiple pages.
  • An amalgamation of the two issues above causes the last and significant problem. For Instance, if you have 100 links pointing to URL 1 and 10 links pointing to URL 2. If Google while ranking the page chooses URL 2 as the canonical version of your page, then it will only consider the links which are pointing to URL 2, not to the links pointing to URL 1, then it will directly impact the ranking of your website.

canonical issues

What are the Common Causes of Canonical Issues?

  1. WWW vs non WWW: In the starting, if you haven’t specified a default version of your URL then it is quite possible your website will load when prefacing your URL with WWW and also without prefacing it with WWW. This issue will lead to creating duplicates of every single page of your website.
  2. HTTPS vs HTTP: If an SSL certificate secures businesses website, then it is quite possible it will load when typing in both the HTTPS and HTTP versions of your URL. Also, this issue will again create duplicates of every single page of your website.
  3. URL that changes based on User Interactions: Some e-commerce website generates different URLs and that too based on search parameters or filters.
  4. URLs that changes based on the device: Instead of having a single website for all the devices if you have a different website for desktop and mobile users, then it will create issues like canonical.
  5. Syndicate Content: If you publish blogs, articles content on multiple websites and also on your website, then it can create identical content issues.

Final Step: How to Fix Canonical Issues

There are two ways to fix the issue first is by implementing 301 redirects and second by adding canonical tags to your website’s page to convey Google, which of several pages are desired.

  • Implementation of 301 redirects for Duplicate Pages: You can resolve the issue of HTTP/HTTPS and WWW/non-WWW by implementing a 301 redirect to the correct version of URL. There are numerous ways to set up a site wide 301 redirect page. The easiest and less risky way is to set up the redirect through your website’s host. Once you make the changes, you will notice a difference in rankings and traffic. Also, you have to make some other changes for redirecting your URL. You can do this by updating your robots.txt file, hard-coded URLs and sitemaps.
  • Add Canonical Tags: For fixing the issue, you should add canonical tags to all your website’s pages. In this case, don’t let Google decide which of your duplicate pages should be the canonical page. You can specify which page you want to be canonical, and you can do this by adding <link rel = “canonical” href = “https: / /” /> tag to each page of the website. Although, adding the code to every page of your website is complicated and inconvenient, therefore here SEO Company in Australia comes in the picture. SEO experts will resolve the issue on your behalf.
  • Refer Duplicate Pages to your Preferred URL: If you are a brand that has both a mobile and desktop version of the website, then choose the website that will serve as your canonical version after that ensure that each page of your preferred website version has a self-referential canonical tag. Once you are done with it, then add a canonical tag to each page of your other site that points to the URL of the duplicate page on your preferred website.
  • Ensure Other Websites Use Canonical Tag When Publishing Content: If you post your content on multiple sites then it’s crucial to ensure that any secondary site that published your content encompasses a <link rel = “canonical” href = “https: / /” /> tag that basically points back to the URL of the content on your website. Do this way otherwise; Google won’t be able to determine the original source of the content and can rank a secondary website higher than yours.

To determine if your website has a canonical problem or not and also to fix them, you need the expertise of SEO Company in Australia. And definitely, Magicbyte Solutions being an award-winning and reputed digital marketing agency in Australia, should be on top of your list. Our qualified and certified SEO experts are well versed with the fact what works best for search engines and whatnot. Accordingly, they will optimize your website as per the ever-changing algorithms of Google and Bing.

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