One of the most common SEO problems for websites is how to fix canonical issues caused by duplicate content. It can lead to indexing issues as it becomes hard for Google to identify the identical content on multiple URLs. Moreover, this can also have a bad impact on your search engine rankings.
Hence, by learning about duplicate pages without canonical tags, problems related to them, and how you can fix canonical on your website, one can easily avoid problems and all the issues relevant to it.
So, do not worry anymore. This article will cover all the things mentioned above to help you eliminate canonical issues on your website.
What is a duplicate page without canonical definition?
Duplicate page without canonical definition is as follows “Website having pages with similar content without the link tag “rel=canonical” attribute value called duplicate page without canonical.”
And suppose one of your website pages is reachable by more than one URL with the same content. In that case, the Google algorithm will consider it as a duplicate version of that page.
Consequently, Google will choose one URL as the original and most important piece of content and index that.
Sometimes, search engines select the wrong one. So, you must take the proactive step of notifying search engines of the original one in advance.
Harms of having duplicate pages without canonical?
- It results in wastage of crawl budget
- Difficult for the search engines to choose the best among the identical ones.
- Also, it reduces Page value.
- Degradation of text relevancy
- Negative user experience
- Decrease in Ranking
What does Canonical Tag mean in SEO?
Canonical tag means telling search engines algorithm that the particular URL shows the main copy of a page. It’s also called “rel canonical.”
Canonical tag helps in
● Preventing problems caused by duplicate content present on multiple URLs.
● It tells search engines about the original version of the URL that you want to appear.
How to fix Canonical Problems?
Although different people have different ways to fix and resolve canonical problems, they do this because they do not know a particular problem properly.
For the best solution, common canonical issues experts have compiled a precise number of ways to fix these common problems. You can use these ways according to your canonical problem because different ways are used for different issues. These ways are given below:
By Applying Sitewide 301 Redirects
You can use this useful technique if you are facing canonical problem regarding:
- HTTP/ HTTPS
- WWW/ non-WWW
You can fix the problem merely by applying a sitewide 301 redirect. Still, you have to keep in mind that you have to implement it to a real and correct version of your URL.
But do you know how to apply sitewide 301 redirects? There are many methods to do this, but we will present you with the simplest method that will be the least risky.
You can easily apply them by your website’s host. Start the proceedings by searching these phrases on any browser like Google:
- “HTTP to HTTPS redirect [host name]”
- “WWW to non-WWW redirect [host name].”
You are lucky if your website host has a supporting page, and here, you can contact your host through “customer support.” Or you can also contact any developer who has much knowledge about these canonical problems. He could implement sitewide 301 redirects to your site by any method.
After redirecting, you might feel that your site’s traffic has decreased (if you run a blog). According to some experts and Google, it is pretty normal, and your traffic will be recovered in some days or so.
Use Canonical Tags
You can add canonical tags on each page of your site to resolve some canonical problems. If you face problems concerning URLs that change depending on client cooperation, then this technique is the best for you.
In this technique, you will tell Google which page of your site is canonical by rel=canonical tags on each page of your site. In general, Google decides which page is canonical, but you are doing it yourself here.
This way could look inconvenient, so that is why many experts have introduced some other ways to canonicalize all pages of a site, like by using some plugins and changing the settings of your site.
You can use some other techniques as well like:
Allude duplicate pages to your selected URL with canonical tags. Use this method if you face issues about URLs that change depending on the gadget used to see the page.
Ensure Other Sites Use Canonical Tags When Publishing Your Content. Only use this trick if you have some problems concerning syndicated content.
Pro Tip: After using all ways for all problems, if you feel that your complication is still not okay, then you might need to update something like
- Any hard-coded URLs
- robots.txt file
Best Executions for Canonical Tags
Before doing anything, you must understand every important thing about canonical tags. And after that, use them with some beneficial practices like:
- The structure of your canonical tags should be the same as the URL; if the URL is in HTTP, then canonical tags must be in HTTP.
- Even if you are currently not facing any problem with duplicate pages or content, you should still use canonical tags for every site page.
- Keep checking the canonical tags and URLs of your site.
- Always use canonical tags pointing towards your site’s URL because otherwise, Google will not recognize the chosen page of your site.
- If your problem is with HTTP/ HTTPS or WWW/ non-WWW, then never use canonical tags because it is time for redirecting.
The Final Thoughts
Duplicate content problem is an SEO-related problem. That is why many people think that Google charges some fine for people who copy others’ content. Yes, Google is pretty strict in this case, but if you have unintentionally copied someone’s content, then don’t worry and sleep without tension.
But suppose you are one of those people who duplicate and republish others’ content without permission. In that case, you are in great trouble. So, keep yourself away from this stuff anyway.