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  • Writer's pictureBrent Payne

AMP Page URL has canonical URL which is Not Found (4XX)

The web address in focus is an AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) URL that has been integrated with a canonical link. Regrettably, this canonical reference leads to a non-existent (4XX error) page.

Why is this important?

In the realm of AMP HTML documents, a canonical link to the standard non-AMP version, or a self-canonical if no standard version is present, is compulsory. An incorrect canonical causing a 404 error will obstruct search engines from finding the content.

The presence of a valid canonical link is a prerequisite for AMP pages. It aims to reference the original 'non-AMP' page. Search engines might struggle to index such pages if they lead to dead links, potentially omitting them from search results.

What does the Optimization check?

Loud Interactive's analysis identifies AMP URLs with canonicals that are unreachable.

Examples that trigger this Optimization:

The Optimization activates when this URL's canonical points to an inaccessible location:

<!doctype html>    <html amp>    <head>    <meta charset="utf-8">    <title>Demo Article</title>    <link rel="canonical" href="" />    ...    </head>    ...    </html>

If the above canonical URL returns a 404 (Not Found) HTTP response:

HTTP/... 404 Not Found    ...

Other 4XX status codes will also trigger this Optimization.

How do you resolve this issue?

This issue is marked as 'Critical' due to its potential to drastically impact a site's visibility in organic search results. It must be rectified immediately.

If the canonical refers to the correct but inaccessible URL, inspect the cause behind the inaccessibility. It's possible you may have to reinstate the page with a status 200 response.

If the canonical mistakenly points to the wrong URL, the requisite action would be to update the canonical on the AMP page to indicate correctly to the matching non-AMP content. Here's how you would implement a self-referential canonical along with an AMP page reference:

This URL self-references and designates an AMP counterpart:

<link rel="amphtml" href="">    <link rel="canonical" href="" />

Accordingly, the AMP page should have a canonical reference pointing back to

<link rel="canonical" href="" />

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