Canonical URLs effects on WordPress Blog

Nur . Posted in How-To, Plugins 976 Views

Before explaining the effects of Canonical URLs on your blog, let me tell you the definition of this term according to Wikipedia “URL normalization (or URL canonicalization) is the process by which URLs are modified and standardized in a consistent manner. The goal of the normalization process is to transform a URL into a normalized or canonical URL so it is possible to determine if two syntactically different URLs are equivalent”.

Canonical-URLs

Canonical URLs,  The word derives from the word canon, which describes law and genuineness. The problem with many blog platforms is that the same content often appears in different places on a site, with exactly the same presentation but an entirely different URL.

The Canonical URL for WPArena is now http://wparena.com. This doesn’t mean that we won’t get the visitors that type in the www’s. If you go to http://www.wparena.com you’ll see in the address bar that you were automatically redirected to http://wparena.com. This is why it doesn’t really matter which you choose.

URLs with www as well as those without it, They are treated as duplicate content by Search Engines and the version found to be non-authoritative is penalized. Canonical URLs redirects were added to WordPress in version 2.3 to help alleviate this problem. Now WordPress take it single URL either it is with WWW or Without it, What you have set in General setting of your blog. A Blog Address setting to use the www or the non-www version of the domain, both are equally fine, so it is merely a personal choice.

site-wparena

How Google searches your Blog:

Analyze the result of your blog by typing n Google search :
1. site: wparena.com
2. site: www.warena.cm
This will give you a result of how many pages Google knows about.

A concise representation of Google’s basis to create the order of the search results displayed on SERP:

google_search_strategy
For example, you can see that my site, has 845 results for the non-www version of my domain. It is a well-indexed site and those numbers are right on track. Yahoo! shows 8,770 results while Bing shows nearly 266 results. Here Yahoo search engine love to index pages with www and without it. It also index the pages of you links n other sites, it means Yahoo index your backlinks.

Google Webmaster Tools

Tell google which version you want to use for your blog and it should be same as you set in your WordPress Blog. If you tell WordPress one thing and Google another, you will prevent your site from being indexed.

To set up the proper URL redirection for your site, follow these steps:

WordPress Setting:

1. In WordPress Admin, choose General setting.
2. In Blog address field type your blog’s URL in the forrmat which you want e.g. http://wparena.com and save your setting by clicking on Save Changes.

Google Webmaster Tools Setting:

google-webmaster-tool

1. Log in to Google Webmaster Tools.
2. Click the plus sign next to Site Configuration to expand the Site Configuration menu. Select the Setting link
3. Under preferred domain, select the Display URLs as wparena.com option and save your setting to complete the process.

The All in One SEO plugin

This is an excellent plugin, it automatically takes care of much of search engine optimization. Download All in One SEO Plugin.
After activating the plugin, go to “All in One SEO” under setting, and change setting according to your requirment as follow:

All-in-One-SEO-plugin

1. Home Title

If you leave it blank, the normal Blog Title is used instead.

2. Home Description

If you leave the Home Description field blank, it defaults to the Blog Tagline set under General Description.

3. Home Keywords

Like Home Description, the Home Keywords field controls a meta tag. Make sure you list all your keywords as
comma-separated values.

4. Canonical URLs

Be careful while enabling this option and get more information on risks for using this feature at Canonical Url Errors with All-in-One SEO WordPress Plugin.

5. Rewrite Titles

Select this option because the title tag will always be rewritten to make the most sense from an SEO point of view.

6. Title Formats

Be careful in this area because “placeholder words” are used to represent key data points.
By default, the following formats are used:

Post Title Format = %post_title% – %blog_title%
Page Title Format = %page_title% – %blog_title%
Category Title Format = %category_title% – %blog_title%
Archive Title Format = %date% – %blog_title%
Tag Title Format = %tag% – %blog_title%
Search Title Format = %search% – %blog_title%
Description Format = %description%
404 Title Format = Nothing Found for %request_words%
Paged Format = Part %page%

7. Use Categories for META Keywords

You have the opportunity to append the categories a single post is in, because these keywords can be appended into the meta keywords field as well, which will help search engine

8. Dynamically Generate Keywords for Posts Page

The Dynamically Generate Keywords for Posts Page option is not required because WordPress will automatically do this.

9. Noindex Options

Eeliminating certain pages from being indexed by the search engine and also help avoiding duplicate content penalties.

10. Autogenerate Descriptions

Selecting this option enables it to automatically create a description that fits the blog post.

11. Additional Headers

This is not important relevant to SEO, it can help you to insert extra text or tags into the header.

12. Log important events

It will make a log file for important events, making, deleting editing posts.

At the end we can conclude that WordPress handles canonical URLs automatically. Configuring the All in One SEO plugin will solve many SEO challenges.

References: seodesignsolutions,  semperfiwebdesign

Nur

I am a Wordpress, Website Developer and Designer, creator @ WP Arena, Provide Free WordPress consultation and can help to install WordPress in a secure way to small businesses and bloggers.

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