*The following tip was shared by Eric Gesinski from Tulsa SEO*
Editor’s note: While this issue is well discussed in SEO circles, the post serves as a good reminder – don’t miss it!
One element to SEO that web designers sometimes miss is a big one: canonicalization. While you may know about it, you have to realize the impact it has on SEO is a major one. This is an issue that is definitely worth fixing; you may see your site jump a few positions if you correct this issue on a site that needs it.
What exactly is canonicalization? In SEO, it’s a reference to the different ways you can access a site. I’ll use “dailyseotip.com” as an example (even though this site has corrected their canonicalization issues).
Take a look at these different site addresses:
Even though they’re different, on most sites these all go to the same page. While a user will see no difference between them and assume it’s just the home page, the search engines will view each of these as separate pages. Not only that, but with the www/no www difference, you have duplicates of every page of your site available. Especially in the case of Google, this will water down the ranking of
your site pages.
To fix this, you need to consolidate each of these pages so that anytime you visit any of them, it redirects to one page. And an HTML redirect is not the best way – you can lose your link juice using this. Make sure you use a 301 redirect. This can be done in your .htaccess file to make sure your whole site has its canonicalization issues fixed.
If you get this corrected, the search engines will now see all the links pointing to any variation of that page pointing to just one page, and this will help bring your rankings up.