Duplicate, Google chose different canonical than user: what does it mean and how to fix it?
We often see this issue for URLs containing duplicate content or thin content. Some examples:
- A website that targets the US, Canada and UK with the exact same content, putting all of its faith in the hreflang link attribute.
- An eCommerce store that features product variants with little to no unique content, yet the product variants have a self-referencing canonical.
- When a website's content is available through both
HTTPS, canonicals are set up to the
HTTPvariant but Google simply prefers
One thing is for sure: when Google doesn't follow your indexing preferences, you need to learn why and resolve it.
How to fix “Duplicate, Google chose different canonical than user”
- Go to
Duplicate, Google chose different canonical than userand use the URL Inspection tool to find out which URL was chosen by Google as the canonical instead.
- If Google ignored a self-referencing canonical, then you need to make the page's content more unique and add more incoming internal links.
- If Google ignored a canonical pointing to another URL, you have several options:
- Make the content more similar so Google is more likely to adhere to your canonical.
- Update the canonical to point to a more relevant URL. Perhaps Google was right, and you should just take the URL they chose and use that as the canonical URL.
- Implement in case your site is available through both
HTTPSand/or with and without the
When it comes to Google's canonicalization process, determining which version of a URL is the "master copy", you don't want there to be any uncertainty — it needs to be crystal clear which URL they need to index and rank.