Google’s John Mueller goes about the topic of how Google selects canonical URLs. He throws light on this topic in the latest instalment of the #AskGoogleWebmasters video series.
These are the specific questions that sent:
“With these tips, you can tell Google your preferences, but for various reasons, Google may choose different pages, like yours. So, what is the reason? Thank you!”
In response, Mueller said that a site usually has several unique URLs that lead to the same content. For example, URLs have WWW versions, non-WWW versions.
Another standard configuration is access to the home page in the form of index.html or URLs in upper- and lower-case letters on one page.
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Ideally, there should not be other versions of the URL, but this rarely happens. Therefore, Google chooses to display canonical URLs in search results following two general rules:
- Which URL looks like the site wants to use Google?
- Which version of the URL is most useful for researchers?
Website owners can provide Google with their favorite canonical URLs, as described in the next section.
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How to Tell Google About Your Favorite Canonical URLs
Website owners can send a signal to Google to enter the desired URL. The more consistent the message, the more likely it is that Google will choose the preferred URL for the site.
These signals are as follows:
- Link rel canonical annotation that matches throughout the site
- Internal linking using the preferred URL format
- Preferred URLs in the sitemap file
Mr. Mueller added that Google prefers HTTPS URLs to HTTP URLs and selects “prettier” URLs as a specification.
Remember that if you prefer the version of the URL that you select in the search results, you should use it consistently.
The more consistent the site, the more likely it will be for Google to use its favorite canonical URL.
What if Google Chooses a Different URL?
Personal address – settings. Mueller said that if Google selects a specification URL different from the one, he likes, it will not negatively impact the ranking. No preference is right too.
Consistency is the key to canonical URLs. But if you put all signals in their places, and Google chooses a different version of the URL as a canonical, do not lose sleep.