Rel=”canonical” is a powerful method that allows you to manage duplicate content. When you use the canonical, you tell search engines which page to show in search results.
However, there are situations when due to the incorrect use of the canonicals, unwanted pages are displayed in the search results or, conversely, the most important ones drop out from SERP. For example, instead of a category main page, a pagination URL is in the SERP. This situation can increase the bounce rate, because the first page contains the latest content that brings the most benefits to visitors. And on the pages of pagination may be outdated data, in particular, the goods which are not available.
Using JetOctopus, you can audit canonicals quickly and easily. We have created several reports with the most common problems.
Step 1. Start a new crawl or select from the list the crawl you want to analyze.
Note that canonicals are also used if you have a separate mobile subdomain. You can enable a special scan mode for such websites while crawling. Using this scan mode, JetOctopus will process canonicals in a special way.
Step 2. Wait for the crawl to finish.
Step 3. Analyze the canonicals in the following reports:
In the “Indexation” report, you can see the number of canonized, or non-canonical, urls. Non-canonical pages contain a link to a different url (canonical url) inside the rel canonical tag. Canonized urls contain similar content to canonical urls, so they should not be shown in the search results.
If you click on “View pages”, you will go to the data table.
We have created the “Non Canonical Pages” report separately for your convenience. This data table contains a complete list of canonized urls with 200 response codes.
Check it out whether this list contains only those urls that should not be in the search results.
Also, in the “Indexation” report you can find the list with the most common problems with canonical.
In the “Rel tags” report you will find general information about canonicals. In particular, the number of pages in the code with rel = canonical.
In the report “Rel tags, you can explore the structure of canonicals on your website and compare the number of canonicalized and self-canonical pages.
Separately, we created a data table with all the pages that contain rel=canonical in the code.
Step 4. Analyze the canonicals in the data tables.
Go on to the “Data tables” – “Pages” report. Click the “+ Add Filter” button to select the desired urls for analysis:
To do this, go to the filtering block “JS content change” in the “Data tables” – “Pages” report and select:
“Original Canonical URL” – select this option to filter canonicals (which was found in the original source code): you can find empty or relative canonicals, and so on.
Step 5. Adjust the columns.
Click “Setup columns” to add the required data to the table.
Step 6. Bulk export the data.
Click the “Export” button to download CSV, Excel, or Google Sheet.
Step 7. Save the selected data table as a problem, create a KPI, or save the list for re-crawling.
“Crawl the List” – you will go to the crawl configuration page, where all the urls from your filtered data table will be saved. You can run a recrawl to see if the problem is resolved.
Click “Page Speed” to start analysis of the Core Web Vitals metrics for this url list.
“Create my KPI” – create a goal to work with selected pages.
“Save as a Problem” – save the selected urls as a problem. It is very convenient to create a list of problems based on the results of the crawl and prioritize them.
“Save as a Segment” – save the url list as a separate segment, which you can use in all reports, charts and visualizations without additional settings.
Step 9. Conduct additional canonical checks
With JetOctopus, you can perform additional checks:
Canonical is a powerful tool that you can customize for each site. So try, in addition to common problems, to find non-typical canonicals in the results of the crawl purely for your website.
More information: How to canonize URLs. Dos and don’ts