Quick Guide on finding and fixing SEO Canonical Issues

By on March 20th, 2021 in Tutorials

Duplicate content on your website can cause Canonical issues that will have major impacts on your SEO and can see your rankings take a slide. Knowing how to identify the duplicate content on your site can help you avoid having to deal with canonical issues in the future.

  1. What are Canonical Issues in SEO

Websites that have more than one URL that displays the same or similar content are the main reason for canonical issues. Not having the correct redirects in place will cause the search engine to see the content as coming from different pages.

An example would be.

  • https://www.whitenoisereviews.com.au
  • http://www.whitenoisereviews.com.au
  • https://whitenoisereviews.com.au
  • https://whitenoisereviews.com.au

All these pages display the same page and content for the URLs, unless you have the correct redirects pointing to the one page, search engines would see this has 4 separate pages with the same content.

  1. Why are Canonical Issues bad?

Google hates duplicate content. In fact, it essentially thinks you are trying to trick it into thinking are something you are not. In the past websites were full of content for the sake of content and as such many businesses would duplicate content within different pages to fill space. If you have multiple URLs, you are leaving it up to Google to choose the page it will direct the search to and it may not be the actual URL you would prefer to be found.

  1. Common Canonical Issues

WWW vs non-WWW – If you don’t have a default version of your URL your site could load when prefaced with WWW and also without WWW – Duplicate content is created for every page of content for your website.

HTTPS vs HTTP – HTTPS site are secured by a SSL certificate and it may load when typing either HTTPS or HTTP, this creates duplicate content again for every page of your website.

  1. How to check if you have Canonical Issues on your site.

Check all possible website URLs (like in Point #1) and if one of them doesn’t redirect to your preferred URL then you have a Canonical Issue. The simplest way is to speak to the team at Supplier Digital, they are experts in tracking down all SEO problems that your website may be experiencing.

  1. Easiest way to fix Canonical Issues.

Implement site wide 301 redirects to your preferred and correct URL. This can be done through your website’s host. If you are having trouble trying to fix the problem, then the experts at Supplier Digital will be more than happy to help.

There is an urban myth that Google will penalise your site for having duplicate content, this isn’t entirely true. Whilst you won’t be served with a fine or even get a virtual slap on the wrist, you will however see your ranking slip in the search indexing until you fix your canonical issues.

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