If you have a website, you probably want to rank well on Google and get more organic traffic. However, sometimes Google may show you a warning message in the Search Console that says “Alternate page with proper canonical tag”. What does this mean and how can you fix this issue?
In this article, we will explain what is a canonical tag, why it is important for SEO, and solve searches like “Alternate page with proper canonical tag how to fix”. By following these steps, you will be able to optimize your website and avoid duplicate content problems.
What is canonical tag?
Firstly, to answer questions like “What is Alternate page with proper canonical tag” we need to know canonical tags. canonical tag is a piece of HTML code that informs search engines like Google about the preferred version of a web page.
The canonical tag becomes particularly useful when you have multiple pages with similar or identical content, such as different versions of the same product, or pages with different parameters in the URL.
For instance, if you have a page that displays a product with various colors, sizes, or prices, you can use a canonical tag to indicate which page is the primary one and which ones are the alternatives. As a result, Google will only index and rank the canonical page, while ignoring the others.
A canonical tag typically looks like this:
<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://example.com/product”>
This tag should be placed in the <head> section of the web page, and it should point to the absolute URL of the canonical page.
Understanding the role and function of canonical tags is crucial in managing SEO effectively. Moreover, it is a key factor in resolving issues like the “Alternate page with proper canonical tag” status in Google Search Console, whether for an HTML or WordPress site.
What does “Alternate page with proper canonical tag” mean?
The Alternate page with proper canonical tag google search console is a message that appears under the Coverage report. This report shows you the status of your web pages and how Google crawls and indexes them.
You might also come across variations of this term, such as “Alternate page with proper canonical tag HTML” or “Alternate page with proper canonical tag WordPress”. These variations refer to the same concept but are specific to the type of website you have.
The “Alternate page with proper canonical tag” status arises when Google finds a page that has a canonical tag pointing to another page, and that other page also has a canonical tag pointing back to the first page. This situation creates a circular reference, leaving Google unsure about which page is the canonical one.
Remember, this status is not an error, but a warning. It signifies that Google will choose one of the pages as the canonical one, based on its own algorithm. However, this may not be the page that you want to rank, and it could potentially affect your SEO performance.
How to determine which URLs are affected by the “Alternate page with proper canonical tag” report?
Identifying the pages affected by the canonical tag status is a crucial step in optimizing your website’s SEO performance. This status can occur on any type of website, be it WordPress or HTML, and knowing how to fix it is essential.
To start, you need to utilize the Google Search Console, a powerful tool that provides insights into how Google views your website. These are the procedures to adhere to:
- Firstly, log in to your Google Search Console account. This is your gateway to understanding how your website interacts with Google’s search engine.
- Subsequently, select your website. Google Search Console allows you to manage multiple websites under a single account. Keep in mind that you are focusing on the right one.
- Next, navigate to ‘Coverage’ on the left menu. The Coverage report provides details about the indexing status of all the pages on your website.
- Then, click on the ‘Excluded’ tab. This section lists all the pages that Google has chosen not to index.
- Finally, find the “Alternate page with proper canonical tag” row and click on it. This will bring up a list of URLs that have this status.
At this point, you will see a list of URLs affected by this status, along with the canonical URL that they point to. This information is vital in understanding the scope of the issue and planning your next steps.
Is it necessary to fix the “Alternate page with proper canonical tag” status?
The canonical tag status is not a critical issue, but it is advisable to fix it. This is because you want to have control over which page is the canonical one, and avoid any confusion or inconsistency for Google and the users.
By fixing this status, you will be able to:
- Improve your SEO ranking and visibility.
- Avoid duplicate content penalties.
- Increase your click-through rate and conversions.
- Provide a better user experience and navigation.
How to fix “Alternate page with proper canonical tag” status Issue?
To fix the “Alternate page with proper canonical tag” status, you need to review and update your tags, and ensure that they are consistent and accurate. Here are some steps that you can follow to solve Alternate page with proper canonical tag error:
Check if the warning is correct and accurate.
Occasionally, the Google Search Console may show you a false positive, and the pages that have the “Alternate page with proper canonical tag” status may not have a circular reference. This can happen due to a delay in the data, or a glitch in the system.
Confirming the accuracy of the warning, you can use a tool like [Screaming Frog] or [SEMrush] to crawl your website and check the canonical tags. You can also use the [URL Inspection Tool] in the Google Search Console to see the live version of the page and its canonical tag.
If you find that the warning is incorrect, you can ignore it or request a validation from Google.
Update the canonical tag (if necessary).
If you find that the warning is correct, and that you have a circular reference in your canonical tags, you need to update them and make sure that they point to the correct page.
To do this, you need to decide which page is the main one, and which ones are the alternatives. Then, you need to edit the HTML code of the pages and change the canonical tag accordingly.
For example, if you have two pages with the same content, such as:
You can choose one of them as the canonical one, and add the canonical tag to both pages, like this:
“<link rel=”canonical” href=https://example.com/product?color=red>”
This way, you will tell Google that the red version is the original one, and that the blue version is an alternative.
Remove all unnecessary canonical tags.
Sometimes, you may have canonical tags that are not needed, or that are pointing to the same page. This can create confusion and redundancy, and it can affect your SEO performance.
In order to prevent this, you should remove all the canonical tags that are not essential, or that are self-referential. For example, if you have a page that has a canonical tag pointing to itself, such as:
“<link rel=”canonical” href=https://example.com/product>”
You can delete the canonical tag, as it is not adding any value.
Update your website’s sitemap.
A sitemap is a document that provides a roadmap of all the pages on your website. It is a crucial tool that helps Google to crawl and index them. Keeping your sitemap updated and consistent with your canonical tags is vital. This practice improves your SEO performance and avoids any conflicts or errors, especially those related to the “Alternate page with proper canonical tag” status.
To update your sitemap, you need to ensure that it only includes the canonical URLs, not the alternative ones. This is particularly important when dealing with issues like “Alternate page with proper canonical tag” in WordPress or HTML sites. Tools like [XML Sitemaps] or [Yoast SEO] can be invaluable in this process. They generate and update your sitemap automatically, saving you time and effort.
Once you have updated your sitemap, the next step is to submit it to Google through the Google Search Console. This step is crucial for fixing the proper canonical tag error. However, keep in mind that you will need to wait for Google to process it. This waiting period can vary, as Google needs to crawl and index your pages again.
Regularly monitor Google Search Console.
After fixing the “Alternate page with proper canonical tag” status, it is important to monitor the Google Search Console. Check if the warning has disappeared. Remember, this may take some time as Google needs to crawl and index your pages again.
- To monitor the Google Search Console, first, go to the Coverage report. Then, click on the Validate Fix button. This action informs Google about the changes and prompts it to check your pages again.
- Following this, you will see a progress bar. It shows the validation status. If the validation is successful, you will see a green check mark and a message saying “Validation complete”. However, if the validation fails, you will see a red cross and a message saying “Validation failed”.
- As a result, you need to review your canonical tags again. Look for any errors or issues that need fixing. Additionally, consider using the URL Inspection Tool. It allows you to see the live version of the page and its canonical tag.
How We at DigitizenGrow Help You?
DigitizenGrow can help you fix the “Alternate page with proper canonical tag” status, whether you have a WordPress site or an HTML site. We can check your canonical tags, update them if necessary, remove any unnecessary ones, and update your sitemap as we are providing the best local SEO services in Dubai. We can also monitor the Google Search Console and validate the fix.
Moreover, we can help you avoid the canonical tag status in the future, by providing you with the best practices and tips on how to use canonical tags correctly. We can guide you to create high-quality and unique content for your website, that will attract and engage your audience.
In conclusion, we can solve the “Alternate page with proper canonical tag” status, and any other SEO issue that you may have. You will also be able to improve your website’s performance, visibility, and user experience.
You can visit our website and request a free consultation about Alternate page with proper canonical tag. Do not let the proper canonical tag status ruin your SEO efforts. Contact us today and we can help you grow with your online presence.