Posted by: montegroup | April 14, 2008

Fixing Canonical URLs

Before we get into the details on fixing canonical urls’ let’s discuss what canonical means. Canonical means “authoritative” or “commanding”, to a search engine it is the url you want to display in search engine results.

Most marketers have constant SEO problems with URL canonicalization, especially tourism marketers who often face a life full of vanity domains and landing pages for campaigns; sometimes this usually presents a content duplication concern.

So what does a canonical url look like? Well it’s really simple. http://www.mysite.com and mysite.com are essentially 2 different domains in the eyes of search engines. So why is this so bad? It is because Google or any other search engine could index both sites and then you may face duplicate content issue and you’re also splitting link popularity.

How do you fix Canonical URLs.

There are 2 ways. The most typical SEO way is for you to pick which url you prefer (www.mysite.com or mysite.com) and then do a 301 redirect (permanent redirect). It is very common to 301 the non-www version of your url to your www version.

The other option is to set your ‘preferred domain’ in Google’s webmaster tools – it is easy to sign up, all you need is a gmail account or you just create a Google account with your personal email address.

Below is a screen shot of what the tool looks like.

Fixing Canonical URLs

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