Google Search Console is a powerful tool for website owners, providing insights into how Google views their site. However, it can often be confusing when pages are listed under the 'excluded' category. This blog post will delve into the reasons behind this and provide solutions for one of the most common issues - duplicate pages. The post will cover errors such as 'duplicate without user-selected canonical', 'duplicate Google chose different canonical than user', and 'duplicate, submitted URL not selected as canonical'. By the end of this post, readers will have a clear understanding of how to identify and fix these issues, improving their website's visibility and performance in search engine results.
Canonical URLs play a crucial role in managing duplicate content on a website. Sometimes, a website may unintentionally have different URLs pointing to the same page. This could be due to variations in www or non-www versions, HTTP or HTTPS versions, trailing slash or without trailing slash, or query parameters. To s, these appear as duplicate content. To avoid this, website owners need to explicitly tell search engines which version of the page is the original or 'canonical' version. This is done using the canonical tag.
On every duplicate page, the preferred version of the page should be indicated using the link element, rel attribute, and href attribute. This tells search engines that the page they are crawling is a duplicate and points them to the original version.
There are several common errors related to duplicate pages that can appear in Google Search Console. One of these is 'duplicate without user-selected canonical'. This error occurs when the user has not declared a canonical URL. The solution is to declare a canonical URL. If the page is not valuable to the website, it can be removed.
Another common error is 'duplicate, Google chose different canonical than user'. In this case, the user has declared a canonical URL, but Google has chosen a different one. If the user agrees with Google's choice, they can change their canonical URL to match. If not, they need to send a stronger signal to Google to consider their chosen URL as the canonical one. This can be done by adding the link element and canonical attribute or setting a 301 redirection.
The third common error is 'duplicate, submitted URL not selected as canonical'. In this case, the user can use the 'info:' search operator to check which URL Google considers as the original. Depending on the situation, the user can then decide whether to change their canonical URL or remove the duplicate page from their sitemap.
Search operators can be a powerful tool for quickly identifying duplicate content on a website. By using the 'site:' operator followed by the domain name, users can see all the pages indexed by Google. This can help them understand how Google is indexing their pages and whether there are any duplicate pages being indexed. If there are, these can be addressed using the solutions outlined above.
Understanding and fixing in Google Search Console can significantly improve a website's performance in search engine results. By understanding the role of canonical URLs and how to use them effectively, website owners can avoid duplicate content issues. Additionally, by identifying and fixing common errors related to duplicate pages, they can ensure that their website is being indexed correctly by Google. Finally, by using search operators, they can quickly identify and address any duplicate content on their website. With these strategies, website owners can make their site more user-friendly and search engine-friendly, driving more traffic to their site.
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