Now, owners of a website can know when a specific URL does not appear if Google considers it to be the duplicate of the URL of another domain. For providers of professional SEO services, this is a way of determining why a specific page has not figured in search results. The new feature from Google that makes this possible, alerts website owners when the algorithms choose an external URL as opposed to one from their own website. Google cites various reasons for this:
- Wrong canonicalization â A page may unintentionally utilize the ârel=canonical attributeâ to indicate that a page on a different domain is canonical.
- Hacked sites â Hacking is sometimes done to direct to other domains.
- Website owner related â If you have applied the ârel=canonicalâ attribute to specify a canonical page, then the alert is just a confirmation from Google that the indexing is being done as per your specifications.
- Misconfigured server â Shared hosting may cause a hosting misconfiguration that would result in two different domains presenting the same content.
- Regional websites â In the case of website owners having the same web page content on a number of regional websites (for example .com, .com.au, and .co.uk), Google may use suitable signals to decide which to show per query.
- Scraped content â Rarely, Google may choose a URL from a website which has scraped your content.
Before you get all excited, note that at present Google is only reporting for top pages URLs. Whatâs more, this alert is confined to the message center which means it is only visible if your website has this problem.