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  • Writer's pictureBrent Payne

Canonical points to a redirecting URL

The URL in focus possesses a canonical tag directing to another URL, which itself is subject to a redirection (for instance, if Page A uses a canonical tag to reference Page B, yet Page B is redirecting to Page C).


Why is this important?

Directing search engines to the preferred URL is the purpose of a canonical tag. However, if the canonical URL is redirected, this creates confusion for search engines, likely causing them to disregard the canonical directive altogether and decide on the canonical URL by themselves.


This could potentially lead to incorrect URL indexing, promoting the appearance of duplicate content on the web.


What does the Optimization check?

This hint gets activated for any internal URL where the canonical link element selects a canonical URL that is redirected.


Examples that trigger this Optimization:

Take into account the URL: https://example.com/page-a

If this URL points to another internal page via a canonical link, it will trigger the hint.

<link rel="canonical" href="https://example.com/page-b" />

especially if the canonical URL at https://example.com/page-b returns a 3XX series redirection:

HTTP/... 301 Moved Permanently...


How do you resolve this issue?

In cases where the canonical tag is not correctly configured, it's imperative to determine the accurate canonical for Page A. If Page C is deemed correct, then update the canonical URL correspondingly. However, if the canonical should indeed point to Page B, the redirect on Page B must be removed, and the intended content restored and made accessible there.


Situations like these demand individualized attention and resolution.

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