Canonical Tag and usage


(Lee Jones) #1

Hi Guys
Can someone please walk me through where to put a canonical tag in my rapid weaver project and also on how many pages.
I just did an seo check and got warned of duplicate data. It makes sense because i have a 5 extra domains with names that all relate to my Mac repair business. They were all redirected to www.applemacmechanic.co.uk so i can see why that would have happened. My understanding of this is that my primary site address (above) should have the canonical. So please, what should it say and where should it go.
Many thanks
Lee Jones


(LJ) #2

Canonical tag is good but needs to be treated with caution.

Can I just ask what has been done so far? I assume your secondary domains have been ‘parked’ with your host. Have they also been properly re-directed in cPanel or using htaccess? i.e. if you type in a secondary domain, does it resolve to your primary domain or does it simply show the same content as your primary domain whilst retaining the secondary URL.

In other words, does applemechanic.co.uk always show in the browser even if you type in your other domains initially


(Lee Jones) #3

Thanks for replying.
Quite simply, i used the website checking tool with 1and1 my domain provider and host and noticed that among the many failings with my site duplication was one of them. I immediately knew why as i have for example macrepairsreading.co.uk which was redirects to my main domain which you have seen. There are 5 other redirects with other similar domain names including applemacmechanic.com
As i couldn’t understand how to use the canonical tag my instant resolution was to stop these other redirects immediately and point them at folders on my server. Obviously these addresses will no longer function as i have not made sites for these individual domain names, nor would i wish to to be honest.
It is a minefield for someone like me as i don’t really understand how SEO is changing nor do i really have time to spend days learning. But since January my consistently ringing phone and email have ceased and I’m left almost without my business which has been running happily for 13 years.
The damage seems to have been done by creating (at my only web assistants advise) a responsive site so as not to get marked down by google because of mobile compatibility.
Lost now and a bit scared as i can’t go many more weeks without my phone ringing !!
Thanks Again
Lee


(LJ) #4

Understand how you feel - need to get this sorted asap.

Forgetting the other domain names for now (they won’t help you anyway) you have an issue in that www.applemechanic.co.uk and applemechanic.co.uk (no www.) are showing as 2 separate sites.

To resolve this you need to do 2 things:

  1. add a rule to your.htaccess file
  2. tell google which is preferred (www or not www)

Don’t ask why the two are treated as separate websites by search engines - they just are!

Are you comfortable doing the htaccess file on your server? If not your host can do it for you and so can I if you want to pm access details.

One thing - you used to be able to do it in cPanel / redirects but seems to cause loops in the current version of cPanel.

let’s get htaccess done first and then worry about google


(Lee Jones) #5

Thanks, id like to learn how to do it myself if you can do that? I did read today about preferring www or not. What is the general answer to that quandary ?


(Lee Jones) #6

I have access to the cp, no problems


(Lee Jones) #7

Looks like i don’t have an htaccess file. Looked in the root directory with Transmit and this is what i see


(LJ) #8

No problem if there isn’t one, create one in your ftp. just call it .htaccess . Not sure how you do this in transmit but should be easy. I use Fetch and there is a document icon called “edit” - clicking that creates a text file on the server. Don’t try to create on your desktop however as the . at the beginning makes it an invisible file.

You can choose whether you want www or not www - personal choice - not a lot in it.

Assuming you want the WWW to point to the NON WWW, enter the following:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.applemacmechanic.co.uk [NC]
RewriteRule (.*) http://applemacmechanic.co.uk/$1 [R=301,L]

  • Note: “RewriteEngine on” only need to be on the page once - at the top. If already there, don’t repeat it.

That’s it. Once done - test it in your browser and then we’ll look at Google.


(LJ) #9

Odd - a backslash or two have disappeared in my last post. I’ll pm that code to you. Should look like this:


(Lee Jones) #10

for some reason i can’t copy that text you’ve put there???


(Lee Jones) #11

and ‘rewrite engine on’ already there you suggest. But where??


(Lee Jones) #12

not to worry I’ve copied all those backslashes in


(LJ) #13

cool - hope it’s straightforward. There are several ways to write it so don’t panic if you see other versions.


(Lee Jones) #14

Thats done, Transmit allowed me to make the file and then asked if i wanted it visible as it began with .
So what am i looking for to see that it has done its job?? And now my wonder is that will rapid weaver delete it when i next update the site?


(Lee Jones) #15

So thanks for that help and time you’ve given. Im not sure i understand the lines of code if placed but i trust in what you have said.
What id really like to know now if i may ask is this

  1. What will the work done, actually reward in the future.
  2. What next to tackle google and get back where i was at the end of last year in the rankings. I have a few more hours free today until the kids appear and could be getting on further if you could lead me a little further.
    Im going to keep saying thanks, as my situation has become most scary…