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Canonicalization and Your Website’s Search Engine Optimization

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Site Traffic | Posted on 17-02-2011

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Anyone who performs search engine optimization and/or owns a website should know what the term “canonicalization” means. Believe it or not, this is an actual term created by Google. The easy explanation is that canonicalization is the process of selecting one URL from a group to represent that group. For example, your homepage may have many variations. When Google discovers this, the search engine will select only one and ignore the rest. Google chooses the one it feels is the best representation of the group and the remaining URLs are viewed as duplicates. This can severely impact search engine optimization.

That sounds simple enough. It is understandable that Google would want to choose only one. After all, the results might look a bit strange with many of the same homepage listed with a few variations. However, this can have dire consequences on your search engine optimization efforts.

How Does Canonicalization Impact Your Ranking?

Serious search engine optimization problems can arise when your site faces canonicalization. You may have put a significant amount of effort into optimizing only one of the URLs Google finds for your website. Issues arise if Google selects one of the other URLs to represent the group. Now your search engine optimization is no longer coming into play in your site’s ranking. You may soon find your website has dropped dramatically.

How Can I Correct the Canonicalization Search Engine Optimization Issue?

Take a deep breath and relax, there is a solution to the search engine optimization issues that come from canonicalization. Correcting the ranking problem is actually quite easy. Before your site suffers a drop in ranking, redirect all the non-www URLs to the www versions (or however you prefer to do it). Then, redirect all variations of your homepage to a main URL. The process requires a 301 redirect so the server knows where to send variant requests. This is very important, but thankfully an easy fix to guarantee your search engine optimization does not go to waste.

Don’t Wait for Google Canonicalization to Nullify Your Site’s Search Engine Optimization

It is vital that site owners are proactive in holding their rank through search engine optimization. Do not wait until you suspect Google canonicalization has impacted your site’s position on search results. Instead, take steps right away to ensure that your site remains seen right where it should be!

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