If you’ve done any amount of keyword research you may have encountered the term” Canonical URL”. You may be asking yourself, “What is a Canonical URL?”. And the answer lies in understanding how to analyze a URL and what it’s capable of when contained within a Meta tag or Meta keywords section.
Canonical URLs are a special design that Google uses to direct users from one page to the next. Think of it as Google’s internal address list. Google does not provide these lists publicly. But they do allow webmasters to create links using HTML tags and consequently assigning a different value for each web page linking to a certain site.
The problem with this method is two fold. Google has stipulated that each URL can only link once. Therefore if you have two URLs with different keyword values with different anchor texts, each of these URLs will be counted as a single entry in the Google indexing process. Because each of these keyword entries contain exactly the same anchor text (the same domain name and keywords), Google will compare these keywords and will count each of them as an individual entry in the indexing process.
Fortunately there are ways around this problem. First of all webmasters should understand that Google does not allow duplicate content. Google will consider any web page with duplicate content as a duplicate of the original and thus the search results and indexing issues will be negatively impacted. You will usually see a “Do not follow” or “Does not follow” tag when navigating through the Google web pages.
The second way around this problem is to avoid using html keywords and instead use non-hyphened urls. This ensures that Google will count each entry separately and thus a canonical issue will not be created. However it may still happen where two versions of the same URL are viewed by Googlebot and thus may cause two different URLs to be counted as separate.
One of the main causes of canonical issues is when a web page is accessed but the document it links to is not available. Googlebot will then see two links to the same page and thus will count these two urls as one entry in its database. Google will then mark both of these urls as having the same value and thus redirect the user to the page where the first document is linked to. This is the classic example of how the user types in a URL and Google can follow this link. Google usually won’t count the redirect value by default because it considers it as an automated action rather than a human interaction which make the algorithm more complex.
Another common cause of canonical issue is when the same url or keyword is specified repeatedly on a site. In this case, Google sees two sites that have the same value for the url and will mark both of them as having the same value for the keyword. To remedy this situation, you should make sure you remove the keywords from your Alt Tags (otherwise you won’t be able to insert them later on.) Similarly, make sure you remove the Alt tags from all the pages you build in order to reduce the likelihood of two individual urls having the same value for the keyword.
The best way to know how to fix canonical issues in a website is to familiarize yourself with the details of Google’s search engine policies. They will vary slightly from search engine to search engine, but at the very least they will usually involve some sort of internal or external redirect. If you want to know how to fix canonical issues in a website, it is often helpful to talk to a professional SEO consultant who can help you learn the ins and outs of SEO and create a strategy for your business. For more information on finding a reputable SEO consultant, check out the website below.