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Non-canonical pages listed in the sitemap - How to Fix?


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Site URL: https://www.gravityonestudio.com/

Ahrefs is showing the following error:   Non-canonical pages listed in the sitemap.

Issue details  Non-canonical pages listed in the sitemap.  Sitemap files must list the pages you want search engines to crawl and index. All pages listed in a sitemap are suggested as canonicals for the search engine

Offending URL: https://www.gravityonestudio.com/home

Canoical URL:  https://www.gravityonestudio.com/

How do I fix this?   

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Same question here!

I think every Squarespace site has this problem: the homepage URL is redirected to the domain URL
www.example.com/homepage -> www.example.com

It works well, but the homepage URL still stay in the sitemap. It seems that GSC manage it well (and redirect the page), but is there a way to fix this error? Has this an impact on SEO?

Thanks in advance!

Swiss photographer, designing with Squarespace since 2014 
florianzellweger.ch | florianzellweger.com 

influenz.design 
janvier.black 
ivoire.black 

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  • 2 months later...

Greetings.

Canonical's are helpful but not every search engine will use them so what they promise is not always guaranteed. The risk of URL duplication and other impacts are still present.

The best way to fix this and be sure that search engine spiders are being forced down a URL path, is to use the redirection options, https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/205815308-URL-redirects,

I can't be sure what will be appropriate in your own situation, and when implementing redirection you need to be sure you are not setting up infinite loops. This might happen based on the situation you describe where the default SS home URL is /home and you set a redirect to /. I'd probably open a virtual chat with support to ask them before doing that, they are always very helpful.

In the days before CMS you would be able to set your homepage URL as part of server settings, which would mean that the domains would be  displayed without /home /index /default pages showing.

You can use an online search engine simulator to get the response headers from these two pages, ie domain.com/ and domain.com/home and unless you are literally getting copies of the pages indexed, you can ignore the AHREFS tool and trust an SEO (which I know might not sound promising!)

I hope that helps.

 

We provide digital marketing services for businesses that need exposure/sales from search and social media networks. We also build incredibly fast and well optimised multi-language Square Space websites.
Digital Marketing | Marketing Digitale

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is a huge issue. I am an SEO with 8 years of experience so I have some idea of what I'm talking about.

Google is indexing multiple versions of my home page at the moment. Not to mention the conflicting signals this sends when you have a page with a canonical tag pointing to another page that isn't listed in the sitemap.

The ideal solution would be that the home page lives on / instead of /home...

Also - @GlynMusica I looked into the redirect solution and it won't work since these are all active pages.

There's got to be a way to fix this. Any ideas?

Edited by meganmedaris
Added additional thought
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Let's zoom out here! It looks like the issue is that you are worried about a canonical error? Canonical is a clue for search engines in case you have multiple pages - for example in an e-commerce view where you might have computers indexed under a product category but it might also appear under a processor type category, so you would canonical the information architecture you wanted to prioritise on one of the pages.

Tools such as the ahrefs one are going to go through your website and crawl against a quite limited and subject to errors response.

If you google

info: https://www.gravityonestudio.com/home you will not see it in the index, instead you will see this page:
info: https://www.gravityonestudio.com/

If you browser this:
vies-source:https://www.gravityonestudio.com/home you can find the canonical on this page pointing to https://www.gravityonestudio.com/

That means that while the AHREF is throwing a wobbler on your website, Google is quite happily understanding what you are doing and indexing the website properly.

I don't know what @meganmedaris is the problem you have with your site, but I don't see an SEO problem here, just a software tool telling a webmaster to jump through hoops for no apparent reason. From my side it does seem that SS handles this pretty well, straight out the box as it has done for our own website.

If you have something more specific and it's something we can help with, drop a message here and when we check in again, we'll see what your problem is

 

🙂

G.

 

We provide digital marketing services for businesses that need exposure/sales from search and social media networks. We also build incredibly fast and well optimised multi-language Square Space websites.
Digital Marketing | Marketing Digitale

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@GlynMusica I appreciate your input. I am pretty well-versed on how canonicals work and I understand your point. Google may be able to figure it out themselves in terms of crawling and indexing. Or the may not, which is the case with my site - it's actually currently indexing the http nonsecure version of the home page URL (so http:// without the /home - so a whole different scenario and not a good one since https is preferred by search engines and customers alike). However from a search engine rankings perspective, there are several issues with the way Squarespace uses the home page URL. I won't go into all of them here, but essentially you are splitting rankings signals between multiple pages with identical content. I would be happy to explain this further if you need more details, but it sounds like you don't know of a custom solution to fix this - which is what I'm looking for. Thanks though!

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@meganmedaris by all means detail your problem here, my SEO days go back to 1998, and while I don't pretend that makes me an expert, I keep an open mind and I would like to know what problems you are finding that I might not have considered.

SS does present some challenges for SEO, but as long as you are not looking to tweak performance on script elements that you have no control over and you are correctly handling categories and tags correctly from an indexing level, then I think it's pretty solid to optimise.

Sometimes the problem is compounded when you are applying SEO to previously un-optimised properties.

You can force SSL indexing of your website using Google Search Console

And to force in users browser

  • Head to Settings > Advanced > SSL

  • Make sure you select Secure and HSTS Secure.


Maybe your problem is fixed this way.

We provide digital marketing services for businesses that need exposure/sales from search and social media networks. We also build incredibly fast and well optimised multi-language Square Space websites.
Digital Marketing | Marketing Digitale

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  • 2 months later...

@meganmedaris Do you find any solution in the meantime? I have a very similar problem. The sitemaps of Squarespace defines for the homepage the URL with slug (e.g. /home) .  But Google defines as canonical URL the one without slug. And of course this is marked as "not in the sitemap". i guess this has an negative impact for the visibility of my website on Google. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

I've noticed the canonical issue for some years now, never made an issue until recently. Google and Bing finally caught up with the canonical issue and now everything is going sideways. One website that I manage have SEO description on the site root/home. in the sitemap /home priority is 1. So Bing and Google are ignoring it because it is canonical. Now the sitemap order that Squarespace generate is all random (order is for the weak) so now Google decides to look for a site description, and it does so by going from the top to bottom (yay the order is all sideways!!). The first on the list is the, but the blog page doesn't have SEO and it has a priority of 0.75 so it is ignored. The 2nd page is that of a podcast article (not first, not last, just one in the middle, as random as it can get), with a priority of 0.5. So Google decides to pick that one up and lo and behold my client website is currently owned by the guest on that podcast page. I kid you not.

I spent a couple of days analyzing and writing detailed step by step (with pictures) and a technical explanation of what happened and why is it happening and sent it to the support. Only to be pushed back and not reading a a single thing and just picking the first answer from their hat (One even suggested that SEO strategy is not a Squarespace support issue!!!). Eventually after a long day of battle a senior support person reached with all the introduction and credentials in place, the response was the following: "We tested it Facebook and works in Facebook, so if it works in Facebook this means the problem is with Google."

It took a lot of restraint to keep calm and request the issue to be raised to the engineers. Eventually it was forwarded but we were told not to expect any answer soon!!!

Yes I am dishing out. But God the level of stupidity is jarring. My client is losing traffic, quantifiable metrics we can see and measure from Google Search Console and all Squarespace have to say is to push back and shift the blame to an SEO strategy and Google.

I've had my fair share of issues with Squarespace and SEO in the past, and I've always managed to patch things up with a scotch tape. I could write my own sitemap.xml and give that to google search console instead. By seriously Squarespace GYST. Yes you have a well rounded CMS with solid backend and authoring tool, but claiming you are SEO optimized is the furthest from the truth. You are not SEO friendly or even optimized by a looooooooooong shot. Your SEO is stupid, there I said it, it is stupid and done by incompetence engineers, so grow up and Fix the problem rather than patching it.

This is the straw guys, GYST because life is too short to keep patching things up to cover for your incompetence. And if you think my words are harsh and out of line, well now you get a taste of what I go through trying to explain to my client that the advise and decision to build their website on Squarespace was faaaaaaaar better than building on WordPress, ohhh and praising the level of support (that once was and lost). Only to fail miserably when faced with something as catastrophic as displaying the wrong site brand and description with constant pushback from the (once was) legendary support.

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  • 1 month later...

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