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URL Canonicalization

URL Canonicalization

When I first started doing dynamic web development using WordPress alongside Google Analytics and I had my first site with hundreds of pages I never knew I had a problem.

I always noticed within Analytics that some pages would appear multiple times but with different URL parameters appended to the end of the main domain name but pointing to multiple pages.

Google Examples of Non-Canonicalized URLs


This article by Google offers a pretty go reference for the issue of URL Canonicalization.

Another friendly article that explains the issue of URL canonicalization is from SEOmoz.  They’re Learn SEO section has many helpful links and articles that can help you understand SEO concepts, the topic of canonicalization is covered here.

Good news!  There are some helpful WordPress tools to deal with this issue.  I’m partial to WordPress SEO by Yoast.

The download for the WordPress SEO plugin can be found here:

WordPress SEO by Yoast Plug-in from


This is a pretty deep plug-in for wordpress… there isn’t an easy solution for good SEO methods but there are tools that can cut the curve and this is one of them.  Get ready to kill maybe a good 30min to an 1hour if you really want to dig into your site SEO because this plug-in has a lot of options.  But if you’re just wantint to kill those overly dinamic url warnings from google here you go.

If you don’t have your Permalink settings customezed within the WordPress Admin panel you’ll wnat to do that first.

Permalinks set up within WordPress

If you already have that set up, the the SEO plug-in’s “Permalinks” section you’ll find the Canonicalization tools.  There is also a helpful section on the issue of “No-index subpages of archives” in the “Home” screen of the plug in.  If you’re been monitoring your SEO or digging around into google webmaster tools and wonder what all the pages being generated from within Wordpress that point to your attachements are, here is where I believe you’ll find an answer.


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