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Traffic dropped to nothing after Google's change to canonical URL... what can I do?

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization' started by Zhu, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. #1
    Hello SEO experts,

    Please, forgive me for how naive my question that will sound to professionals :)

    I've been blogging for 15 years. Traffic was always steady or increasing, but it dropped to almost nothing in August 2018. This aligns with the following:

    "
    Google Search Update
    An event has occurred in Google Search that might affect your site's data."
    SEMrush
    And when I look up the event, I get to:

    All metrics are now assigned to the Google-selected canonical URL of the page linked to in search results. This means that if a user clicks a search result with a URL that is non-canonical (for example, an AMP or a non-canonical mobile or desktop version), the canonical URL is credited with the impression and click rather than the non-canonical URL that actually appeared in search results. This change should make it easier to see search data for a single piece of content in a single property. You can learn more about this change in our blog post.

    I'm struggling to understand what it means and how it affects me... and what I can do to "please Google".

    Any advice? Explanation for dummies like me?
     
    Zhu, Apr 10, 2019 IP
    SEMrush
  2. mrb1129

    mrb1129 Well-Known Member

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    #2
    Why you waited this much long to tell?
     
    mrb1129, Apr 11, 2019 IP
  3. PASnow

    PASnow Greenhorn

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    #3
    Might be time for an updated website. Essentially canonical URLs are shortened or streamlined urls so Google knows which one to display in search engines, AND so it knows duplicate content might be for a reason. For instance:
    www.domain.com
    http://www.domain.com/home.php
    http://m.domain.com/home.php
    
    Code (markup):
    I believe WP likely handles this on its own, but maybe needs newer themes or could be a result of your hosting or PHP (although I don't know for sure, sorry). It can messier and more relevant as the url gets longer, whether via a blog or ecommerce. (Target.com/shirts/mens/black/under$20/sale/results?)
     
    PASnow, Apr 11, 2019 IP
  4. Zhu

    Zhu Well-Known Member

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    #4
    Frankly, because I had other priorities and because I don't understand anything about SEO :)
     
    Zhu, Apr 11, 2019 IP
  5. Zhu

    Zhu Well-Known Member

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    #5
    My urls are pretty "clean", partially because it's handled by WO and because I make sure to use short, descriptive urls. For instance
    www.domain.com/story-today.
    Code (markup):
     
    Zhu, Apr 11, 2019 IP
  6. mrb1129

    mrb1129 Well-Known Member

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    #6
    I am guessing this is your site which is in the signature link. It seems that you are having trouble with your SSL as well, the homepage isn't encrypted correctly.
     
    mrb1129, Apr 11, 2019 IP
  7. BizGrowth

    BizGrowth Peon

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    #7
    While checking some analytics on my site, I saw the website also has a canonical url. Can someone tell me what this means and if it hurts my chance of ranking in the search engines.
     
    BizGrowth, Apr 17, 2019 IP