What is Canonicalization

What is The Process of Canonicalization?

Canonicalization In Search Engine Optimization

The process of canonicalization in search engine optimization means to choose one specific URL as a single web address for the resources on your site. For instance, although you might consider the .com and .com/html on your site to be the same URL, search engine crawlers see them as different URLs. This affects your results and weakens your overall rankings.

Search Engine Optimized Product Pages & Blog Posts

This is common when it comes to product pages and blog posts. The same product could have dynamic URLs as a result of search preference or user session. For example, the same pink handbag could be found at an URL such as category=handbags&color=pink and /handbags/pink/pinkhandbag.html. With a blog post, the same exact thing can happen. The URL as a result of a search is different than the URL assigned to it from the platform when you published the blog page.

Even though visitors to your site will still find the same page, regardless of the URL, crawlers will still view them as separate pages. This means that you lose link authority overall. It might also cause some problems if Google accuses you of having duplicate content. However, even high ranking SEO sites can have canonicalization problems. It’s not easy to consolidate every page on your site or blog into a single URL.

There are a couple of ways to do it, however, with the most common being 301 redirects and the rel-“canonical” tribute. There are certain instances when one of these techniques would be better than the other.

Deciding on a Canonical URL

The very first step is to decide which URL you want as your canonical URL when consolidating multiple pages. Ideally, it should be the easiest web address to remember www.___.com is easier to remember and type out than https://www.____.com/html.

Using the 301 Redirect

The 301 HTTP redirect code has always been the standard for managing page redirections. It’s commonly used whenever a page is no longer available under a specific web address. It tells both search engines and visitors that the original page is no longer there. Visitors are redirected to the page at its canonized address.

While this method sounds easy enough, it does have its problems. You might not be able to implement HTTP status codes. Even if you can, it might not always be the ideal solution. It can take some time for search engines to actually attribute the new page with the same amount of search authority that the original page had. If you don’t know what you’re doing with 301 redirect, things might get messy.

Only Use 301 In These Circumstances

  • – For pages that you actually plan on moving or replacing permanently
  • – As the default URL
  • – To redirect expired content or 404 pages
  • – For domains that are being rebranded or acquired elsewhere

Using rel=”Canonical” Attribute

This is an method for informing Google search crawlers that while you acknowledge more than one page is the same, you are placing the importance on one page, and consider it to canonical. An example of this is when you have more than one page featuring the same products but in different order depending on the price or color or size. Unlike 301, it doesn’t physically redirect visitors to another page.

You use this attribute by marking up the canonical page with the link element. Simply place the rel=”canonical” attribute with a element to the section. You can avoid errors by using absolute paths. Submit the canonical URLs in the sitemap.

There are instances when using this attribute is not ideal, such as when you have one long article or report broken up into different part, each with its specific URL. You will want the search engines to pay an equal amount of attention to all the parts, and not just one.

Another problem with rel”canonical” is that it doesn’t work with some search engines.

If you’re going to perform canonicalization with your website, make sure you do it correctly. Consider what would be the best for each page.

Canonicalization

Negative SEO

What does negative SEO look like

Negative SEO can take a number of forms. It can be someone using real or fake social media accounts to give your brand a bad reputation through negative comments or poor customer reviews. It might also be a little more stealthy – like deleting your content, or copying your content and posting it to multiple other sites, so your original content is no longer unique, thereby knocking it down on the search engine results pages (SERPs). It might involve posting spam to your account, or even impersonating you in order to have your best backlinks deleted. Or, they might just overload your site with traffic so that it slows down, or shuts down entirely. It can get pretty nasty and you need to be prepared because it’s easier to prevent it in the first place than it is to clean up its mess.

What can I do to prevent negative SEO

The best thing you can do is be aware. Constantly. Monitor your website on a regular basis. Know how long it takes your pages to load. Know where your best backlinks are located. There are tools and software you can employ to keep an eye on things. You can have alerts sent to you if you are penalized by the search engines, or if things go awry on your site. If anything goes wrong, you’ll be able to report it, fast.

How can I protect myself against negative SEO

Be proactive. Protect your backlinks, or places where your site receives inbound traffic from any other websites, by communicating with your webmaster through one specific email account. Don’t allow anyone to tamper with your backlinks by pretending to be you and asking your webmaster to delete your content. Make sure your webmaster knows to only respond to requests from your account. You can regularly perform searches for your original content on search engines, ensuring that your site is all that pops up with your words. Another thing you can do is monitor social media by being aware of all mentions of your brand’s name. If a spam account goes up, pretending to be you, you need to know about it as soon as possible, and report it to the proper source. If people are talking about your brand, you should be able to respond to it promptly, putting out any small fires before they become big ones.

Protecting against SEO is like creating good SEO: it requires frequent, consistent, diligent effort. Just like creating exciting original content takes attention to detail and persistent work, negative SEO prevention takes a significant amount of care. But in the event that it happens to you, you’ll be glad you were prepared.

Quickly Discovered by Spiders

The main reason people submit their sites to search engines is because they want their site to be discovered quickly by spiders and don’t want to wait for the search engines to find them organically. Brand-new sites especially want to be discovered quickly and submitting to search engines is a general SEO tool used in the beginning of a website’s life.

Another reason people choose to submit their sites to search engines is if they have a webpage or part of their site that has just been updated. Submitting your site after updates helps them get recognized more quickly.

There are two methods to submitting a site to a search engine. You can either submit one page at a time or submit the entire site. Generally webmasters submit the home page of the website because search engine spiders are sophisticated enough to crawl an entire site after they’ve been directed to the homepage.

For mature sites it’s generally not necessary to submit to search engines because the major ones like Google, Bing and Yahoo have already used their spiders, bots and crawlers to navigate the already established sites and rank them accordingly. However, as mentioned above, if you make major renovations on your site and want the search engines to recognize them quickly there’s no harm in resubmitting. In fact, there’s no harm at all in submitting your site to search engines on a regular basis.

When submitting your site focus on the top three search engines. If you are having your website designor redesign, this will often be included as part of your package. But you can also manually submit your site to the major search engines whenever you wish.

Google is the planet’s number one search engine and as such, it should be your first stop when submitting your site. Yahoo is next in line and requires registration before you make a submission, but there’s no charge. Lastly, you want to submit your site to Bing.

Submitting to search engines isn’t something you should stress over. Each one has its own unique way of finding you and it doesn’t necessarily need your help in doing so. Google uses spiders to crawl the web and bring back information about every website and every page. They send out their crawlers at random so the search engine optimizers can’t time their SEO updates. Yahoo also has their own set of crawlers that extract links and find pages that have yet to be discovered. Bing calls their web crawler BingBot and it has the same task of going out into the web and analyzing each site and webpage.

The best rule of thumb is to let these web crawlers do their job. It never hurts to submit to search engines, but you don’t need to spend a lot of time doing it. Your site will get the attention it deserves according to all of the other SEO tools you put into action.

Search Engine Submission

Search Engine Traffic

Add Proper Title Tag And Meta Description Tags

Users are likely to read the information on the title tag and meta tag description before clicking on your landing page link. Make sure the title is enticing to users. It helps to add a unique and optimized description. If you leave the title and meta description tags empty, Google will automatically grab any content on the page to fill up the field. You don’t want this to happen as it may not portray the quality of content on the web page. Working on these tags is one of the best ways to get relevant traffic to your page. You don’t have to stuff them with keywords but consider what users are looking for and include this in the description.

Revamp The Content On The Landing Page

Always ensure that the content on the landing page will meet the searcher’s needs. If not, make adjustments to the content to make sure they are swayed enough to take action. Whether this means signing up to a new program or buying a product, the ultimate goal is to make as many visitors to the landing page convert. Invest in a good content marketing strategy which helps you to populate your website with quality and interesting content. Focus on topics that are unique and engaging to your readers. Fix call to actions strategically in landing pages to help generate conversions.

Optimize Landing Pages For Search

Keyword rich landing pages will always be favored by search engines. When creating content, use unique keywords that your users are likely to search for when seeking your product or service. This is will contribute to the landing page ranking high on search and giving your website lots of organic traffic. Just ensure you don’t spam the pages with lots of keywords.

Landing Pages Should Be Mobile-Friendly

You went through lots of effort to get people to visit your landing pages, what you need to ensure is that they have a great user experience regardless of the device they are using to browse on your website. Invest in a mobile friendly website design. If it’s a contact form that people will be filling out on the landing page, try it and ensure it appears nicely across different platforms. Don’t drive people away because the landing page is not mobile-optimized.

Ensure Quick Loading Times

Landing pages need to load fast. When the page loads slower than two seconds, you risk losing relevant conversions. Take measures to improve site load speed such as compressing large files before uploading them to your server.

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