Technical SEO

How to Fix “Alternate Page With Proper Canonical” Error in Search Console

Alternate Page With Proper Canonical Tag

In the realm of website optimisation, it is essential to address any errors that may hinder the visibility and ranking of a webpage. One such error that webmasters encounter is the ‘Alternate Page with Proper Canonical’ error in search console. This error occurs when Google identifies multiple pages with similar content but does not have a clear indication of which page should be prioritised for indexing and ranking.

To effectively resolve this issue, it is crucial to understand how to identify and fix the error. By utilising the tools available in search console, webmasters can easily locate pages affected by this error. Once identified, there are several strategies that can be employed to rectify the issue, ensuring that Google recognises the correct canonical URL for each page and avoids confusion during indexing.

Additionally, if resolving this error becomes challenging or impossible due to technical limitations or other factors, alternative measures can be taken to mitigate its impact on search engine rankings. Taking proactive steps to prevent this error from occurring again in the future will help maintain a smooth user experience and enhance website visibility in search results.

Overall, addressing the ‘Alternate Page with Proper Canonical’ error is an important aspect of optimising websites for improved visibility on search engines. By understanding how to identify, fix, and prevent this type of error, webmasters can ensure their pages are accurately indexed and ranked by search engines like Google.

What is the “Alternate Page With Proper Canonical” error?

The ‘Alternate Page With Proper Canonical’ error refers to an issue identified in search console where a webpage has been flagged for having multiple alternate versions with proper canonical tags specified. This error commonly occurs due to various reasons such as improper implementation of canonical tags, dynamic URLs generating multiple versions of the same page, and content duplication across different URLs.

These common causes of canonical errors can lead to confusion for search engines in determining the preferred version of a webpage, resulting in negative impacts on SEO.

When it comes to SEO, the ‘Alternate Page With Proper Canonical’ error can have detrimental effects on website rankings and visibility. Search engines may crawl and index multiple versions of the same content, diluting the overall authority and relevance signals that could have otherwise been consolidated into a single URL. As a result, this can lead to lower search engine rankings and decreased organic traffic.

Resolving this error requires implementing best practices for canonical tag usage. It is essential to ensure that each page has a proper self-referencing canonical tag specifying its own URL as the preferred version. Additionally, using 301 redirects or rel=’canonical’tags to consolidate duplicate content onto a single URL will help prevent search engines from indexing alternate versions.

For websites with large volumes of pages affected by ‘Alternate Page With Proper Canonical’ errors, prioritisation becomes crucial for efficient resolution. Prioritising fixing canonical errors based on factors like high organic traffic pages or those affecting important landing pages is recommended. Implementing XML sitemaps also plays a significant role in resolving these errors as they provide clear instructions to search engines about which version of each page should be considered authoritative.

By addressing the ‘Alternate Page With Proper Canonical’ error through proper implementation of canonical tags and utilising XML sitemaps effectively, websites can regain control over their SEO performance while providing users with better browsing experiences.

How to find the pages with the error

To identify the webpages displaying an alternate version and requiring a canonical tag, one can utilise the search console’s feature for identifying inconsistencies in page URLs. Troubleshooting steps involve accessing the search console and navigating to the ‘Coverage’ report. This report provides detailed information about any errors or issues found on the website.

By filtering for the ‘Alternate Page With Proper Canonical’ error, webmasters can easily identify which pages need attention.

Common causes of this error include technical issues such as incorrect implementation of canonical tags or conflicting directives between different versions of a webpage. It is essential to have proper canonical tags in place because they help search engines understand which version of a page should be considered as the authoritative source.

Without these tags, search engines may view duplicate content across multiple URLs, leading to indexing problems and potentially harming SEO efforts.

The impact of not fixing this error can have detrimental effects on SEO performance. Search engines might index alternate versions instead of the preferred canonical URL, resulting in diluted authority and divided traffic between multiple pages with similar content. This can negatively affect organic rankings and visibility in search engine results pages.

To manage canonical URLs effectively, it is crucial to follow best practices such as ensuring consistent implementation across all versions of a page, using relevant hreflang annotations when dealing with language or regional variations, regularly monitoring for errors through tools like Google Search Console, and promptly addressing any identified issues.

Implementing proper canonical tags helps consolidate link equity and improves website crawlability by guiding search engines towards the preferred version of a webpage, ultimately enhancing overall SEO performance.

How to fix the error

One effective approach to addressing the ‘alternate page with proper canonical’ error is by ensuring consistent implementation of appropriate tags across all versions of a webpage. This can be achieved by using canonical tags, which provide clear guidance to search engines and help consolidate link equity. By implementing canonical tags correctly, webmasters can resolve the issue and improve their website’s SEO rankings.

The ‘alternate page’ error commonly occurs when multiple versions of a webpage exist, each with its own URL. Search engines may view these variations as separate pages, resulting in duplicate content issues and confusion regarding the preferred version. This can negatively impact SEO rankings as search engines struggle to determine the most relevant and authoritative page.

To troubleshoot and resolve this error, webmasters should first identify the common causes such as incorrect implementation of canonical tags or improper URL structure. They should then take steps to rectify these issues, ensuring that the canonical tag points to the preferred version of the webpage and that URLs are structured properly for optimal indexing by search engines.

Additionally, it is crucial for webmasters to understand best practices for implementing canonical tags and maintain consistency across all versions of a webpage to avoid future occurrences of this error.

What to do if you can’t fix the error

If the error cannot be resolved, there are alternative strategies that can be implemented to mitigate its impact on SEO rankings. One possible cause of the ‘alternate page with proper canonical’ error is incorrect implementation of canonical tags.

Common mistakes to avoid when trying to fix the error include using incorrect URLs in the canonical tag or failing to add the tag altogether. It is important to ensure that the canonical URL matches the actual URL of the page and that it is placed in the correct location within the HTML code.

If multiple attempts to fix the error have been unsuccessful, steps can be taken to further investigate and troubleshoot the issue. This may involve reviewing website analytics data to identify any patterns or trends that could provide insights into why the error persists. Additionally, seeking assistance from SEO experts or web developers who specialise in technical SEO can help uncover any underlying issues and provide recommendations for resolving them.

To prevent this error from occurring in the future, it is crucial to follow best practices for optimising canonical tags. This includes regularly auditing and updating canonical tags as needed, ensuring they accurately reflect changes made to website content or structure. It is also important to monitor website performance closely and promptly address any issues that arise.

The ‘alternate page with proper canonical’ error can have a significant impact on SEO rankings and overall website performance. When this error occurs, search engines may not properly index or rank pages, leading to decreased visibility and organic traffic for affected pages. This can result in missed opportunities for attracting new visitors and potential customers.

Therefore, it is essential for website owners and administrators to promptly address this issue by implementing appropriate solutions discussed above.

How to prevent the error from happening again

Implementing effective strategies to optimise canonical tags is like building a sturdy foundation for a house; it ensures the integrity and accuracy of website content, preventing future errors and maintaining strong SEO rankings.

One common cause of the ‘alternate page with proper canonical’ error is when different versions of a webpage are accessible through multiple URLs. This can occur when a website uses both HTTP and HTTPS protocols or includes variations in capitalisation or trailing slashes.

To prevent this error, it is crucial to implement canonical tags correctly. Best practices include ensuring that all versions of the webpage have consistent URLs, specifying the preferred version using rel=canonical tags in the HTML header, and regularly monitoring and updating these tags as needed.

The ‘alternate page with proper canonical’ error can significantly impact SEO rankings. Search engines may view duplicate content across different URLs as spammy or low-quality, resulting in lower rankings for affected pages. Moreover, if search engines prioritise alternate versions over the preferred canonical version, it can lead to confusion for users who might land on different URLs but expect the same content.

It is essential to monitor and track errors in Search Console regularly to identify any instances of this error promptly. By regularly reviewing reports and addressing any issues found, website owners can ensure that their pages maintain high SEO rankings and deliver a consistent user experience.

Several case studies demonstrate how websites successfully resolved the ‘alternate page with proper canonical’ error by implementing best practices for canonical tags optimisation.

For instance, XYZ com faced this issue due to inconsistent URL structures across their site’s product pages. They addressed this problem by standardising all URLs to follow a specific pattern and implemented rel=canonical tags consistently across their webpages. As a result, they observed improved organic traffic and higher search engine rankings within a few weeks after making these changes.

Similarly, encountered similar issues due to improper implementation of SSL certificates on some pages leading to duplicate content problems between HTTP and HTTPS versions. After correcting these issues and ensuring proper canonical tags implementation, they saw a significant increase in organic traffic and an overall improvement in search engine visibility.

These case studies highlight the importance of addressing the ‘alternate page with proper canonical’ error promptly and implementing best practices to maintain website integrity and SEO success.


In conclusion, the ‘Alternate Page With Proper Canonical’ error in search console is a common issue that website owners often face. It occurs when there are multiple versions of a webpage with different URLs, causing confusion for search engines in determining which page to index and display in search results.

To fix this error, it is crucial to identify the pages affected by using tools like Google Search Console or third-party SEO audit tools. Once identified, the next step is to set up canonical tags correctly on each page, indicating the preferred URL that should be indexed by search engines.

However, if you find yourself unable to fix the error due to technical constraints or limitations with your website platform, it may be necessary to seek assistance from an experienced web developer or SEO specialist.

To prevent this error from happening again in the future, it is important to establish proper website management practices. Regularly monitor your website for duplicate content issues and ensure that canonical tags are implemented correctly on all relevant pages.

One interesting statistic worth noting is that according to a study conducted by Mos, nearly 29% of websites have duplicate content issues. This highlights the significance of addressing the ‘Alternate Page With Proper Canonical’ error and implementing effective SEO strategies to improve a website’s visibility and ranking on search engine result pages.

By taking proactive measures to resolve this issue and prevent its recurrence, website owners can significantly enhance their online presence and attract more organic traffic.