What to do with alternate pages showing as canonical tag errors in Google Search Console?

maroofimran
Tourist
15 0 1

I don't know why my google search console is showing me pages that I didn't even created with these urls error shown as "Alternative page with proper canonical tag
my url that I made 
https://inpkstore.com/products/facial-green-jade-massage-roller

unknown urls
https://inpkstore.com/products/facial-green-jade-massage-roller?variant=41357478428706
https://inpkstore.com/products/facial-green-jade-massage-roller?pr_prod_strat=e5_desc&pr_rec_id=117d...

starting with ?variant and ?pr_prod
what should I do I have made 40 pages and because of these links there are 247 pages as "Alternative page with proper canonical tag".
Should I block theme in robots.txt? for example Disallow: /*?pr_prod_strat=

Replies 4 (4)

ilanadavis
Shopify Expert
197 26 62

Hey @maroofimran 

 

There is most likely nothing you need to do and Google says as much in their documentation.

 

Google is just saying that they found the variant URL (?variant=) and the recommended product links (?pr_prod_strat=) but see the regular product URL is the canonical (or preferred URL). This is correct and how it should be. They are not indexing those URLs, that's the point of the Alternative page with proper canonical tag notification.

 

You can find more details in this article about ignoring Search Console issues that don't actually impact search.

 

Remember that Google Search Console is a technical tool used to help diagnose POTENTIAL issues across all pages Google sees. Think of these [non-] issues as a heads-up and most of the time, no action is required by you.

Ilana Davis, Shopify Superhero
JSON-LD for SEO, adds structured data to your theme, getting you more organic traffic with Rich Results.
Linking Llama, link complementary, comparable, or related products to improve SEO & UX.
DariusWS
Shopify Partner
84 1 19

I think you are totally wrong and spreading misinformation all around internet. It is impacting crawling budget and it lead to another problems: https://support.google.com/webmasters/thread/195372762/crawl-budget-shopify-recommendations-with-par... 

@Shopify  please double check with developers and confirm or deny statements.

ilanadavis
Shopify Expert
197 26 62

I'm sorry you feel that this is misinformation. The advice shared is directly from Google's documentation which states

 

Alternate page with proper canonical tag

This page is marked as an alternate of another page (that is, an AMP page with a desktop canonical, or a mobile version of a desktop canonical, or the desktop version of a mobile canonical). This page correctly points to the canonical page, which is indexed, so there is nothing you need to do. Alternate language pages are not detected by Search Console.

 

I've written a follow-up article that explains how to tell if Google is using the proper canonical URL and ignoring the parameters in the URL

https://www.ilanadavis.com/blogs/articles/alternate-page-with-proper-canonical-tag-explained-for-sho...

 

As long as the canonical URL you want Google to use matches the Google-selected canonical, there's no concern.

 

Crawling budget is only an issue if you have tens-hundreds of thousands of unique pages where the content changes often (once a week or more). That's rare for most Shopify stores. If you are that rarity, I recommend you read through Google's docs on crawl budgets for large sites.  In there, you'll see they recommend keeping your sitemap up to date and making sure your canonicals are set properly, both of which Shopify does for you. You'll also want to keep 404 errors at bay and clean up long redirect chains.

 

Hope that helps.

Ilana Davis, Shopify Superhero
JSON-LD for SEO, adds structured data to your theme, getting you more organic traffic with Rich Results.
Linking Llama, link complementary, comparable, or related products to improve SEO & UX.
DariusWS
Shopify Partner
84 1 19

Dear Ilana,

 

just because you wrote an article it doesn't make you right. You give me general rules how google works and I already know. Did you read answer I gave above? I can tell you what here happen:

 

- Yes google was ignoring url after "?" symbol. BUT...  It changed in google logic and google start crawling product variants more to better understand variants. For example:  https://testshop.com/products/pasante-unique-condoms?variant=564645644654

 

- So where is a problem? because https://testshop.com/products/pasante-unique-condoms?pr_prod_strat=copurchase&pr_rec_pid=1047817&pr_...

Shopify use this url for tracking. But this URL's looks like variant for google, but it is dynamic url for tracking. For website which have 2k products will crawl 100k+ product pages. 100K of useless information.

 

-Still doesn't get where is a problem? Because you reach loop of endless variants, google can't understand your website properly and it looks like low value content. It HUGE problem.

 

- If still doesn't agree with me please read this answer again: https://support.google.com/webmasters/thread/195372762/crawl-budget-shopify-recommendations-with-par...

 

@Shopify  still waiting for an answer