The canonical issue – you need to fix in your website ASAP

Table of Contents

  • What is Canonical issue
  • How it affects ranking of your website
  • How to resolve canonical issue in your website
  • Conclusion

What if you were told that the content of your website is duplicate. Copied from nowhere but your own website?

Your website can be accessed through different protocols like HTTP, https, www, and non-www. Although the protocol doesn’t matter for a user. But for Google or any other search engine, the same page with different protocols is counted as different.

If you’re an SEO, you might be familiar with the canonical issue. Simply putting, you can call it a duplicate content issue. In this article, we’ll be talking about various causes of the canonical issue and how to fix them

So, what exactly canonical issue is ?

how to resolve canonical issue

A given webpage can be accessed mainly through 4 URL variants :

  1. http://example.com/index.html
  2. https://example.com/index.html
  3. http://www.example.com/index.html
  4. https://www.example.com/index.html

Google considers them as 4 different pages with duplicate content. Which have a negative impact on search rankings.

How it Affects your Rankings

When Googlebot Crawls backlinks to your Website, it indexes all the pages. Now suppose, 2 versions of a page indexed by googlebot viz. website.com/page.html and www.website.com/page.html. Although, they are same to us, but Different for Google. Now Google gets confused, which one is the original page to rank well in search results.

How to resolve Canonical issue ?

To resolve canonical issue in your website, make sure every variant of your website should be redirected to the one you want to target.

#1 Use Proper canonical tags

So what is canonical tag ?

Canonical tag is simply a meta tag put in the head of your webpage. It tells the crawler that the original content for this page is located at this particular url, please don’t consider them duplicate of each other.

<link rel="canonical" href="https://website.com/originalpage.html" />

The Homepage Canonical tag

Please note: By default your homepage is configured as the file named index.php or index.html. Make sure the the url in the caonical tag of your homepage should be your preferred domain and no index.html or index.php in the end.

Incorrect : <link rel=”canonical” href=”https://example.com/index.html” />
Correct : <link rel=”canonical” href=”https://example.com” />

#2 Force whole Traffic on single URL Scheme

First of all, you have to decide, which url would you prefer ? www or non www . After that make sure other url variants redirecting to the one you have selected.

#3 Remove query Strings

remove query strings

Query strings are urls with some added strings in the end. These are also responsible for Canonical issues. It is recommended to minimize this types of links or backlinks to prevent canonical issue.

Follow these steps to resolve canonical issue

  1. Choose the URL Scheme you prefer. www or non www
  2. Redirect the traffic on other URL Schemes to the one you prefer
  3. Put Canonical Tags in the other variant pages.
  4. Remove Query Strings
  5. Why Choose https

Conclusion

When your website is accessible through more than one protocols from http, https, www and non-www, it is called canonical issue. It is a bad practice for SEO purpose. It should be resolved as soon as possible. The only thing you have to do is redirect all the traffic from different protocols to a single one which you prefer.

Did we missed something ?

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We put our best efforts to explain you the topic, but if there is something we missed, let us know in the comment section.

Reference links

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