What is Canonicalization Issue and How to Resolve it?

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Canonicalization issue arises when your website is accessible from a number of URLs, and this happens when 301 redirects are not appropriately in place. Canonicalization process is simply choosing best URL when you have lot of choices. For example you own a website named http://www.abcd.com then the index page can be accessed by search engines in the following manner:

http://www.abcd.com

http://www.abcd.com/index.html

https://abcd.com

www.abcd.com/

Note: All of these URLs will load the same page that is the homepage. Most of the internet users would consider this series as the same URLs but all are different from the technical point of view.

Impact on Website:

Ignoring this issue might cost your website losing goodwill and traffic, so there is a strict need to pay attention to this Canonicalization issue. When your website is accessed via different links search engine considers them as different website and end up judging your website as a duplicate content holder.

This doesn’t seem like a problem to you and your users but in fact it impacts your website. It also affects your visitors, suppose a user go through your site through two different links to read a particular page then he would get confused in identifying which one is authentic and genuine URL. No one wants 5 visitors coming to your site through 5 different links.

Implementing canonicalization on your site can be done in 2 ways:

301 redirects

Link Tag using Canonical

You need to put proper canonical tags to pertinent pages on your website. Employing this will simplify your SEO practices, helping you improving rankings making the website more robust. A permanent 301 redirect is the most reliable way to resolve canonical issue. Set up two profiles for your domain by logging into Google webmaster: Set one profile with www. Prefix and other without.

Thereafter go to site “Configuration> Settings> Preferred Domain” in order to pick the domain you want Google to use.

Open your .htaccess file and follow the patterns:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www.abcd.com$ [NC]

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.abcd.com/$1 [L,R=301]

Save the file to be uploaded on server

If your website is hosted on Linux or Apache server types then implementing 301 redirect would be simpler.

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