How Canonical URL’s Effect Search Indexing

Avoiding Duplicate URL’s From Being Crawled

The canonical tag was introduced in 2007 and tells the search engines what should be indexed. By allowing the search engines to know the preferred page it eliminates duplicate page indexing. E-commerce or large websites usually run into more issue’s surrounding duplicate indexing problems. This is due to multiple products, lots of dynamic content and an abundance of categories.

Since the first release of the Panda in February, 24th. 2011 webmasters have been poised with avoiding duplicate content issues across websites. The Panda update was huge and hit around 12% of global search engine queries. Some websites saw a drastic change in the amount of website traffic the were receiving. These changes forced content creators to create unique content that is quality as well as causing Webmasters to remove or submit request to other websites that had dubious low quality content they created to be removed from those other websites.

Canonical allows the crawlers to know what link is to be indexed. For example if you have link that is yoursite.com?id=1 the canonical link can tell the crawlers to index yoursite.com instead. You can also set parameter preferences in Google Webmaster Central Console as well to aid in the process of determining what to index. This is also beneficial if you have more than one domain name linking to a website. <link rel=”canonical” href=”URL” />

Duplicate URL Example

Avoiding Duplicate URL’s

Robots.txt file Usage

Avoiding Duplicate Canonical URL’s and Content

 SEO Bullet PointsAvoid use of Upper Cases

SEO Bullet Points Properly make use of the canonical link

SEO Bullet Points Add parameters in the Webmaster Console

SEO Bullet Points Use cookies instead of session id’s

SEO Bullet Points Avoid similar content

SEO Bullet Points Block crawlers

SEO Bullet Points Use 301 redirects

Use a Constant URL Pattern

Using a different URL pattern such as http://www.linkworxseo.com vs. http://linkworxseo.com can cause confusion to the search engines. Search engine’s perceive this as different url’s, which leads to another form of duplicate content. Avoid these patterns of URLs so the search engines can make sense of your domain. A solution to overcome this problem is to use the canonical tag to indicate the right URL. You should indicate this inside of the Google Webmaster Console as well. You can find this under Configuration > Settings > Preferred Domain > Select Your Option. Click here to learn more about setting a preferred domain.


The necessity to resolve duplicate content issue’s at hand are a most due task for proper search engine optimization. Removing duplicate content enhances a websites search engine results and helps prevent spam as well. If you have not done this by now, you should do it immediately.

Window and Linux Hosting Plans

“There is always a way to resolve the issue.”

About Ty Whalin

I am a web designer, SEO specialist, programmer and internet marketer entrepreneur. I attended Central Florida Community College where I majored in Computer Information Administration and Rasmussen College studying Computer Information Technology. I am the Founder and CEO of Link Worx Seo, played drums for almost 30 years, father of one daughter and enjoy everything life has to offer.

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