Google may select a canonical URL based on your website’s preference and the URL which is useful for the user, Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller explained.
Question. “What are the causes that Google may choose a different page as canonical instead of the page, we suggested?
Answer. Mueller describes it by providing a simple example of common composition which leads to the same content when the homepage is accessible with index.html or with both uppercase and lowercase versions redirect to a single page.
Mueller explained- “It doesn’t make sense for search, to index and show all the versions, so they try to pick one and focus on that. They are following two basic guidelines to try to pick the canonical URL: First, which URL does it look like the site want us to use; what’s the site’s preference? second, which URL would more useful for the user?”
Factors Google considers while site’s preference;-
- Link rel canonical annotation.
- The “nicer-looking” URL.
- The URL in the sitemap file
- Internal linking.
- HTTPS URLs over HTTP URLs.
“If you’re a site owner and want to show a specific URL to users in search then, first of all, make sure that you use those preferences regularly across your website. if you have a preference, then stick to it, search engines would not move across any of those alternatives.
What happens when a different URL is chosen?
A single URL that’s shown in search and If our systems pick a different URL as a canonical, it’ll rank just the same in search. It really just comes down to your preference, in the end. If a different URL to be chosen from time to time, that’s not going to negatively affect the website either.
Why should we care?
Use “rel=canonical” and Focus your signals by determining URL and linking methods across the website help you to keep duplicate content under control and may also help to make sure that search engines point users to the pages you mentioned.