In this post we are going to describe how to display your web pages on search engines if the multiple pages contain the same values with different URLs.
Watch Our Video on Canonical URLs
Here is some URLs examples that have the same product but these are divided into different categories. for example we have an e commerce website that deals in garments and here is a product that is listed in apparels further in sub categories, Mans wear, T-Shirts, Red Color, Price Range and many more.
The same product page has dynamic URLs as a result of user session and/or search preference.
Your web post system automatically saves multiple URLs as you list the same product under multiple categories
.Your server is configured to serve the same content for the www .subdomain or the http protocol.
http://mywebportal.com/red-tshirts https://mywebportal.com/red-tshirts http://www.mywebportal.com/red-tshirts
Content you provide on that blog for syndication to other sites is replicated in part or in full on those domains.
While these Technics make it more convenient to develop and distribute content, they cause some challenges when people search your products or services to reach your page. For instance:
https://news.mywebportal.com.com/red-tshirt-for-every-day-89780.html (syndicated post)
https://blog.mywebportal.com/apparels/red-tshirts-are-awesome/4532/ (original post)
- Consolidating link signals for the similar or duplicate content. It helps Google, MSN, Bing, AOL or any other search engine to be able to consolidate the content they have for the individual URLs on a single, preferred URL. It means that links from other web pages or websites to https://www.mywebportal.com/mans-wear/cocktail?productid=xyz get consolidated with links to https://www.mywebportal.com/t-shirts/red/redtshirts.html.
- Tracking metrics for a single product/topic. With a group of URLs, it’s more and more challenging to get consolidated metrics for a specific piece of product or content.
- Determining the URL you want people to display. You prefer people reach your red T shirt product page via https://www.mywebportal.com/t-shirts/red/redtshirts.html. rather than tps://www.mywebportal.com/mans-wear/cocktail?productid=xyz
- Addressing syndicated content. If you are displaying your syndicate content on other web pages, you need to consolidate web page ranking to your preferred URL.
To resolve these issues, we advice you define a canonical URL for content (or similar content) available on multiple web pages with multiple URLs. You can do this for major search Search in many ways:
- Set your preferred domain
- Indicate how to handle dynamic parameters
- Use a sitemap to set preferred URLs for the same content
- Specify a canonical link in your HTTP header
- Prefer HTTPS over HTTP for canonical links
- Indicate the preferred URL with the rel=”canonical” link element
- Use 301 redirects for URLs that are not canonical
Set your preferred domain
Tell Search Engine which version of your website’s URL you prefer for your domain:
If you set your preferred domain as https://www.mywebportal.com, search engine treats links to https://mywebportal.com exactly the same as links to https://www.mywebportal.com.
Read Set your preferred domain for details.
Indicate how to handle dynamic parameters
Take a look at Parameter Handling and use it to tell Google and other search engine about any parameters you would like ignored or display. Ignoring certain parameters can decrease duplicate content in Google’s index, and make your website more crawlable. For example, if you wish that the parameter product or session
id should be ignored, then Google will consider
https://www.mywebportal.com/apparels/red.php?sessionid=98987 to be the same as
Use a HTML or XML sitemap
collect all canonical (preferred) URL for your complete website, and tell google about your preference by submitting all these canonical URLs in a sitemap.
Google or other search engine don’t guarantee that they will use the URLs you submit in a sitemap, but submitting sitemap is a useful way to tell Google and other search engines about the pages on your website you consider most important.
Specify a canonical link in your HTTP header
If you can manage your server, you must use
rel="canonical" HTTP headers to clarify the canonical URL for HTML documents and other files such as Docs or PDFs. Say your website developers the same PDF or Doc files available via different URLs (for example, for filtration purposes), like given below:
https://www.kywebportal.com/downloads/white-catalogue.pdf https://www.mywebportal.com/downloads/link-1/white-catalogue.pdf https://www.mywebportal.com/downloads/link-2/white-catalogue.pdf
In this case, you must use a
rel="canonical" HTTP header to specify to Google the canonical URL for the PDF file, as follows:
Url: <http://www.mywebportal.com/downloads/white-catalogue.pdf>; rel="canonical"
Google currently examine these link header elements for Site Search only.
Google preference HTTPS over HTTP for canonical URLs
Google gives a special preference to HTTPS pages over equivalent HTTP pages as canonical, except when there are confusing signals such as the following:
- The HTTPS page contains insecure dependencies.
- The HTTPS page has an invalid SSL certificate.
- The HTTPS page is roboted (and the HTTP page is not).
- The HTTPS page contains a
noindexrobots meta tag
- The HTTPS page redirects users to or through an HTTP page.
- The HTTPS page has a
rel="canonical"link to the HTTP page.
Although Google systems prefer HTTPS pages over HTTP pages by default, you can make sure this behavior by taking any of the below given actions:
- Add 302 or 301 redirects from the HTTP web page to the HTTPS web page.
- Use a
rel="canonical"link from the HTTP web page to the HTTPS web page.
- Implement HSTS.
Avoid the below given practices to prevent Google from incorrectly making the HTTP web page canonical :
- Bad SSL certificates used and HTTPS-to-HTTP redirects may cause Google to prefer HTTP very strongly. Using HSTS cannot override this strong practice.
- Use the HTTP page in your XML or HTML sitemap or hreflang entries rather than the HTTPS version.
- Using your TLS/SSL certificafe for the wrong host-variant: for example, mywebportal.com serving the certificate for www.mywebportal.com. The certificate must match your whole website URL, or be a wildcard certificate that can be used for all your multiple subdomains on a domain.
Indicate the preferred URL with the rel=”canonical” link element
Suppose you want https://blog.mywebportal.com/apparels/red-tshirts-are-awesome/ to be the preferred URL, even though a variety of URLs can access this content. You can indicate this to search engines as follows:
- Mark up the canonical webpage and any other variants with a rel=”canonical” link element.
Use a <link> element with the attribute rel=”canonical” to the <head> section of these web pages:
<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://blog.mywebportal.com/apparels/red-tshirts-are-awesome/” />
This indicates the preferred URL to use to access the red t shirt post,
inthis way the search results will be more likely to publish users that URL structure.
(Note: Google attempt to respect this, but never guarantee this in all cases.)
Note: use complete paths rather than relative paths with the rel=”canonical” link element.
Use this structure: https://www.mywebportal.com/apparels/red/redtshit.html
Not this structure: /apparels/red/redtshirt.html).
Implement 301 redirects for URLs that are not canonical
Suppose your webpage can be found in multiple ways:
If you have same post on multiple URLs then implement 301 redirects on the all the URLs that are not canonical and redirect it to preferred URL. A server-side 301 redirect is the best practice to make clear that search engines and users are directed to the correct page. The 301 redirect status code means that a webpage has permanently moved to a new URL.
- Rakesh 'Digital Marketer' shares his thoughts in Digital Marketing and some other paid advertisement Technics. With just over 8 years experience and corporate trainer, he provides training to beginners and industry experts as well