Monday, 28 July 2008

URL duplication – Canonicalization

As advanced has we have all become with our search engine marketing strategies many websites both large and small are still making basic errors which can fundamentally effect their search engine rankings.

URL duplication is still a very common error to which Google still throwns upon. Canonicalization (Google term!) is the process of Google picking the best url when there are several choices, and it usually refers to home pages. For example, most people would consider these the same urls:

http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/
http://houseoffraser.co.uk/
http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/on/demandware.store/Sites-hof-Site/default/Default-Start

URL duplication – Canonicalization do not let this effect your website, search engine marketing strategies
Surely all the same site? Or are they? Don't let URL duplication effect your SERPs.

But technically all of these urls are different. A web server could return completely different content for all the urls above. This was the issue with the House of Fraser site until we correctly 301 re-directed the URLs to the root homepage URL.

Website owners need to ensure all internal links to the homepage are set to the root URL, therefore Google can correctly assign the authority/rank of the site to one single page rather than spreading the link creditability to a mixture of sites. Google does this as it sees various sites which appear the same, potential copy-cat sites. As Google can not decide who the authority of the given subject is, it simply shares the rank up by each player – if you own both the sites, you are therefore decreasing your rank due to poor website SEO housekeeping.

Tip. The classic is always your logo – make sure this isn’t going to xyz.com/index.html

Any questions or comments please do let below and do look out for further search engine marketing tidbits.
Chris

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