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Canonical Page Errors

Canonical Page Errors

This category or SEO error check is limited to just ‘canonical pages’, which are pages with a self-referential canonical tag. If a site has no canonical tags or no canonical pages, this category will be empty as under these conditions there are no canonical pages to check / analyse.


What is a Canonical Page?

A canonical page is a webpage that has a self-referential canonical tag present on it. A canonical tag advises Google as to the preferred / original version of content. If a page / piece of content is accessible from multiple URLs or is missing across multiple pages, a canonical tag helps to define the ‘canonical’ version.

A canonical tag contains a URL and if that URL matches the URL of the page being accessed, it is defined as a canonical page. Canonical pages are typically the ‘SEO’ pages of a site as they are most likely to appear in the search results. The canonical tag of our homepage looks like this in HTML:

<link rel="canonical" href="">


What We Check

A canonical page must be an accessible HTML/text page, meaning that it cannot be an image or PDF and it cannot return a status code other than 200.

Canonical pages are the primary SEO pages on a site, non-canonical pages are unlikely to rank in Google or attract organic traffic. As such there are some checks that are specific to this category of website content. For example, if a site has dedicated landing pages for a paid advertising campaign these are often not canonical and do not play any role in the SEO for a site. Checking pages that are not used for SEO can still be relevant but is likely to be less useful in most cases.

Within this category we perform 23 checks on & specific to all canonical pages, these are the most common and important checks for a canonical page:

  • Duplicated H1s
  • Multiple H1s
  • H1s Too Long
  • H1s Too Short
  • H1s Missing
  • Non-indexable
  • Nofollow in links
  • Less than 4 follow in links
  • Duplicated Meta Description Sets
  • Missing Meta Description Pages
  • Empty Meta Description Pages
  • Long Meta Description Pages
  • Short Meta Description Pages
  • Multiple Meta Description Pages
  • Duplicated Page Title Pages
  • Missing Page Title Pages
  • Empty Page Title Pages
  • Long Page Title Pages
  • Short Page Title Pages
  • Multiple Page Title Pages
  • Not in sitemap
  • Pages with < 101 Words
  • Pages with 101 - 250 Words

We cover each of these checks in more detail, simply click a link above or from the side menu to learn more about what they mean and how they work.

You will also see some of these checks appear in other categories, we show the same check in multiple categories as not every site is the same. In some cases, a site may have no canonical tags or an incorrect implementation of the tag. In such cases, you will still want to identify missing page titles or other SEO checks.