An Update On My Canonical Domain Issues

Just under a month ago I posted about the way Google had mismanaged a canonical domain I own. Just under a month has passed since I added a 301 permanent redirect so that all non-www traffic will be redirected to the full www address. I also redirected all traffic from www.example.com/index.php to just www.example.com. Doing this means that PR and authority will not be split across multiple duplicates. But, even after significant Googlebot activity, Google still thinks that I have 3 different index pages! But what of Yahoo! and MSN? They’re inferior to Google, right? Wrong, both have it spot on.

My question is this – why does it take so long? Log files have shown Googlebot spidering my non-www address and www.example.com/index.php then being permanently redirected to www.example.com/ – yet it still has not updated!

I’ve listened to Danny Sullivan and David Naylor on this topic. Danny suggested in one of his rants on WebmasterRadio that Google (and others) should give webmasters the ability to register domains that belong to them. On the surface this would certainly be a system that (properly implemented) would solve this. But then there would be all the privacy issues where us webmasters would be handing over the reigns to the search engines. However, after the recent Google Sitemap debacle I would question how any search engine could ever stop such a system from being spammed and tampered with. So it looks like we’re going to be stuck with crappy canonical domain management from Google for the time being.

Having said that, I strongly believe that something needs to be done about it. Any suggestions?

2 thoughts on “An Update On My Canonical Domain Issues

  1. Jamie

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for the post (I googled ‘canonical google’ and you were
    #3 in the results).

    I’ve had similar issues with an alternate domain (e.g. pages being indexed as .com and .co.uk). I’ve solved that (I hope) with an .htaccess file.

    While I’m about it, I thought I’d try and resolve the issue you mention (e.g. .co.uk to go to .co.uk/index.php instead), which we also suffer with.

    Is this simple enough to do? Do you do it with an .htaccess file or a 301 redirect?

    As you may have guessed, I’m not that technically savvy.

    Cheers.

    Jamie

  2. Andy Post author

    Hi Jamie,

    To be honest it’s as important to have your /index.php redirect back to your canonical domain, I always redirect everything to http://www.domain.com/ just to be safe. Here is the code you’ll need to redirect non-www to www and redirect /index.php also. I’ve also included code to redirect index pages from sub directories …

    Options +FollowSymLinks
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^domain\.com [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.domain.com/$1 [L,R=301]
    RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /index\.php\ HTTP/
    RewriteRule ^index\.php$ http://www.domain.com/ [R=301,L]
    RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /sub-directory/index\.php\ HTTP/
    RewriteRule ^forums/index\.php$ http://www.ceiling-fans-4-u.com/sub-directory/ [R=301,L]

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