Alternate page with proper canonical tag

chaletboutique
Explorer
51 0 12

IMG_1310.jpeg

Our Google Search Console data is showing over 12K Alternate pages with proper canonical tag. I have a small website with about 500 products. I have contacted Shopify for help and they told me I have to put some code to dismiss some

of the urls in the robots.txt file. I did that but I am unsure if I put the code in the correct place as when our site was re-crawled the issue remained. I have read the Help article for this issue provided in the Google Search Console, but the instructions are outdated. I also contacted their help community and they said ‘

Looks like robots.txt is intended to be 'dynamic'. There must be some 'editor' for canging the 'groups' rules, etc. Using that editor, rather than the raw theme file seems better. All rules in one place. 
Honestly I would still say it's dangerous to try to fix "Alternate page with proper canonical tag"
On a quest to 'fix everything', often results in making things worse. 
The list is unlikely (although not impossible) to have any real issues that need fixing.’
 
I have attached what I did. Can I get some advice on if to fix this or leave it? 
Replies 3 (3)

ilanadavis
Shopify Expert
170 23 54

Hey @chaletboutique 

You can usually ignore the "Alternate page with proper canonical tag" and Google says there is often no action required directly in their docs.

Page Indexing report - Search Console Help-2023-12-13 at 14.29.32@2x.png

 

This is Google's official docs on Search Console's Page Indexing Report: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7440203

 

This article discusses the common Page Indexing Issues in Search Console with applicable specifics for Shopify stores. https://www.ilanadavis.com/blogs/articles/when-to-ignore-search-console-indexing-issues-for-shopify-...

 

I would remove the code you added and not worry about the notice in Search Console.

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.
chaletboutique
Explorer
51 0 12

Our media firm said to add the disallow code to our robots.txt because there are so many entries it can make it harder to see things that you need to see in that list. We are a relatively small site, and we have over 12 thousand Alternate pages with proper canonical tags. How do I know if there are issues within these? 

ilanadavis
Shopify Expert
170 23 54

If your media firm is telling you to fix something that rarely is an issue with Shopify stores let alone a rare issue in Google in general, I'd question their experience with Shopify and SEO.

 

Nonetheless, I'll answer your question. Do a rough scan through the links in Search Console to see if anything jumps out at you. You can show up to 1000 links, giving you a rough idea of the types of URLs in your report.

 

I'd bet most of these are collection-aware product URLs where you include the collection in your product URL. (e.g. domain.com/collections/collection-name/products/product-name). Given that you have 500 products and nearly 12k URLs in this report, I'd wager this is most of your URLs.


Collection-aware product pages are expected to be in here if you haven't removed your collection-aware URLs. There are risks associated so please read the article before making changes. If you remove your collection-aware URLs, many of those links will drop off over time.

 

As mentioned in my first article, you may see ?pr_prod_strat= or ?variant= which are all correct and should have an alternative canonical URL (e.g. the main product URL). So there is nothing you need to do here.

 

You said in your first post "On a quest to 'fix everything', often results in making things worse." which is more often the biggest concern I have with agencies who recommend this. There is most likely nothing wrong here and trying to fix them is most likely a wild goose chase that will provide no value in the end.

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.