What are Canonical Issues?
Canonical issues can basically be defined as multiple URLs with the same content. They can negatively impact SEO because the search engines have not evolved (yet) to fully understand them. For
example, the search engines cannot determine whether they are simple overlooked technical issues, an attempt to publish duplicate content (bad), or a truly poorly designed website that probably has a range of other issues as well. Regardless of the condition, they can cause problems in your search result rankings and need to be fixed.
https://www.palmettosoft.com// (World Wide Web version)
https://www.palmettosoft.com// (non World Wide Web version)
The above URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) could have the same content and the search engines can (and usually will) penalize your website for having duplicate content. For example, the search engines will typically see the https://www.palmettosoft.com// and https://www.palmettosoft.com// as two different websites with the same content. And, the aforementioned also happens to be the most common canonical issue found on the Internet.
How do I fix Canonical Issues?
You can solve this problem by using a 301 Redirect with a .htaccess file. Like most of my posts, I don’t get too technical because the exact specifics for doing this exercise can be found on thousands of sites across the web.
Canonical issues have been in existence for several years and should continue to cause issues in the near future. Think of fixing these problems as a way to help the search engines better understand your site. By doing so, they can better reward you with increased search visibility.
About the Author: Rhett DeMille, the owner of PalmettoSoft, is a leading search engine optimization consultant located in the Florida and Greater Carolina areas.