know that these are actually pointing to the same page, and we
figure that soon enough the search engines will get it right. But for now, most search
engines have what industry insiders call a
is a pro-
grammer’s term for “standard,” so a canonical URL would be the standard or preferred
URL for your website) and it can have a significant effect on your SEO success:
If your inbound links are distributed among different versions of your URL, the
strength of these links can be diluted. You’ll need to take these steps to deal with your
• Ensure that all internal links within your site point to the same URL.
Choose a format and stick with it. You might even consider using absolute
links (which include the full address of your website, starting with
rather than relative links. This will eliminate all canonical problems caused
by internal links.
• Set up a 301 redirect that always points the “bad” URL(s) to your preferred
URL. That will help search engines know which one is your preference. (By
the way, this could be a tricky one for your webmaster, so don’t suggest it
without some sort of bribe in hand.)
• If there are inbound links from other websites pointing to the wrong URL
format, write to them and ask for an update.
Other sites stealing your mojo
Is there a listing on the search engines that looks like
your website at first glance but is actually the website of one of your affiliates, vendors,
or partners? Often, the best way to address this situation is with a direct phone call or
e-mail requesting that the page be removed. Also see Chapter 9 for more information
on searching for other sites that use your content without permission.
Thursday: Your Robots.txt File
file is the first file that a search engine robot visits on your website. Like a
snooty nightclub bouncer with a velvet rope, the
file decides which robots
Work on cleaning up any problem listings that you previously identified in your Task Journal.
Pearl of Wisdom:
If your website is listed under more than one version of a URL, your ranks
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