Messy website positioning is a column protecting the nitty-gritty, unpolished duties concerned within the auditing, planning, and optimization of internet sites, utilizing MarTech’s new area as a case research.

This second installment for “Messy website positioning” particulars my technique of rectifying the canonicalization points that arose following the MarTech web site consolidation. In Half 1 we mentioned fixes for duplicate content material points—redirects. Fixing these points is anticipated to deal with our web site’s concern with diluted rankings and a decreased crawl price range.

>> You may learn Half 1 of our Messy website positioning sequence right here <<

Throughout this course of, we found some situations the place one other issue wanted to be addressed—canonicalization. Nearly all the articles on MarTech contained canonical tags pointing to now non-existent URLs.

Not like redirection—which improves person expertise whereas concurrently sending rating alerts to search engines like google and yahoo—canonicalization addresses the algorithm aspect of the equation. Specifying which model of a web page we wish to rank for helps dictate what reveals up in your potential web site guests.

Correct web page canonicalization finally serves the searcher in the long term. It makes it simpler for them to seek out the content material we’ve created that greatest meets their wants.

A crowd of canonicals

As talked about in our introductory “Messy website positioning” article, the brand new MarTech web site was born from the consolidation of Advertising Land and MarTech At this time. And between the a whole bunch of pages between every property, there was numerous canonical URLs. What’s extra, they had been pointing to now non-existent pages.

At a primary look, entrepreneurs could not see the surplus quantity of faulty canonical as a extreme concern. In spite of everything, solely bots can see these tags at a look, they usually don’t direct folks to new pages like redirects. Google and different search engines like google and yahoo depend on them to make sure the search outcomes are updated and meet searcher wants. And that is exactly why we within the website positioning enterprise should ensure that these are set appropriately (particularly after web site consolidations and migrations).


In our web site’s state of affairs, the pages that was once housed on Advertising Land and MarTech At this time as a rule contained canonical tags pointing to their earlier iterations. So, when Google and different search engines like google and yahoo crawl these pages they’ll obtain a sign stating that the canonical model of the content material lies on non-existent domains. This received’t add extra non-existent URLs into the index, however it should make it take longer to take away the variations which might be nonetheless listed within the SERPS (of which there are a lot of).

For this reason we determined to repair the canonical tag points alongside the duplicate content material consolidation efforts. Aligning our new consolidated URLs with the proper canonical variations will assist search engines like google and yahoo present the fitting URL within the outcomes.

To do that, we analyzed the URLs set on every consolidated web page by way of the Yoast website positioning plugin. These would get replaced with the brand new URL model.

Earlier than


What occurs to the outdated URLs?

So, we’ve determined what to do concerning the present canonical tags. We’re going to be changing the MarTech At this time and Advertising Land URLs with the newly consolidated MarTech URLs. This leaves many URLs on the market, each within the SERPS and on the MarTech web site itself. 

Happily, the Third Door Media crew already put in redirects from these domains to the brand new MarTech web site, sending a reasonably sturdy sign to search engines like google and yahoo. However with a site as massive as ours, it’s taken months for the index to cull the outdated URLs. We suspect a part of this delay has to do with the various articles pointing to the outdated canonical pages.

Our final objective is to take away the alerts on our web site pointing to the outdated URLs, and the canonical tags play a significant function on this. However we wish to make certain the opposite varieties of hyperlinks on our web site are constant as effectively. This implies we’ll be updating outdated inside hyperlinks in articles, essential pages, sitemaps, and different areas.

In brief, we’re going to be getting even messier with our website positioning techniques.

Wrapping up

That’s it for the second installment of “Messy website positioning.” We’ll proceed to undergo the steps taken towards cleansing up the messiness of our post-site consolidation. 

Have you ever had canonical tag points in your websites? Did discover any main enhancements after rectifying the difficulty? E-mail me at with the topic line Messy website positioning Half 2 to let me know. 

About The Writer

Corey Patterson is the Content material and website positioning Supervisor for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in website positioning, content material advertising and marketing, and journalism, he analyzes and optimizes Third Door Media content material to assist entrepreneurs discover the data they want.

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