The two most common technical errors that harm your rankings

There are two common technical errors that can be the reason why your website does not get high rankings on Google. If you’re not actively monitoring your website, it might be that you are not aware of these errors on your site.

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The following two technical errors are common errors that prevent Google from indexing your web pages correctly:

1. Wrong implementation of the rel=canonical attribute

The rel=canonical attribute can help you to avoid duplicate content problems. Unfortunately, it can also lead to major problems.

For example, some websites add a rel=canonical attribute that points to the index page to all web pages. Other sites use a rel=canonical attribute that points to pages that use the ‘noindex’ attribute.

In both cases, the web pages won’t be indexed by Google. Only use rel=canonical with duplicated pages and do not use this tag instead of 301 redirects.

If you’re not 100% sure that you know what you’re doing, do not use rel=canonical at all. The potential benefits are much smaller than the damage that you can do to your website if you use the rel=canonical attribute incorrectly.

2. Broken redirects after a website redesign

Most websites use 301 redirects after a website redesign. If done correctly, these redirects can help you to keep your rankings on Google.

If done wrong, 301 redirects cause a lot of ranking problems. Even if your 301 rankings worked in the past, they might have stopped working in the meantime.

Code changes on your website, new website plugins or broken databases can be the reason for 301 redirects that lead to non-existing pages.

Broken links can destroy years of natural link building. You should make sure that all links on your website are intact.

To check the canonical attributes and redirects, use the website audit tool in the web-based website-promotion tool SEOprofiler. The audit tool automatically checks all links and redirects on your pages and it will warn you if something does not work.

It will also inform you about other website errors that can have a negative influence on the rankings of your web pages. If you haven’t done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now:

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Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at "http://blog.seoprofiler.com".

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