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How To Change Shopify Product Canonical Tags

20 April 2020 | 0 comments | Posted by Che Kohler in nichemarket Advice

Updating product canonical tags in shopify

Shopify has made eCommerce so easy regardless of where you are in the world and is one of the fastest-growing CMS's when it comes to running small and medium-sized eCommerce sites. The out of the box product covers many aspects needed to run a successful eCommerce site and their integrations with popular marketing tools. Integrations with tools like Facebook, Google Analytics and MailChimp, to name a few give site owners more flexibility.

The ability to start reaching audiences and selling products very quickly in a cost-effective manner is what successful Shopify users have built their business on and continue to thrive. While Shopify does do a lot of the hard work for you, it is by no means a full proof plan to building success. Some products make more of a splash than others, and their sites take off rather quickly while those in competitive niches will need to do more to make sure they edge out the competition.

Shopify stores work great in combination with direct email marketing, Facebook ads and Google ads as push channels. Still, as for push channels like SEO, you'll need to combine technical, content and strategy to get the most out of your Shopify site.

Shopify product duplication

One of the primary issues SEOs and Webmasters have with Shopify's out of the box product page implementation is the duplication it can cause depending on how you set up your site. If you have a flat structure with no categories, then it shouldn't bother you too much, but for those who have a broad range of products with product categories and sub-categories, this can cause issues with your ability to rank.

It is one of Shopify's quirks the way it manages products in that it will generate multiple "Collection URLs" for a single product (and a URL without the collection).

The CMS tries to reduce issues of this design through the use of canonicalisation. However, most of the internal link structure tend to points to non-canonical links, which confuses crawlers and splits your page authority across multiple product pages, limiting your ranking ability.

Updating the canonical tags

To fix this issue and get the full benefit of your product pages you need to edit the way your Shopify site generates or pulls its canonical tag into the HTML. You will need to start by editing the collection-template.liquid

  • Search for the product URL within collection command in the file.
  • Then remove the collection reference from the {{ product.url | within: collection }} where hrefs are being generated. 

No index of alternatives

If you don't feel comfortable messing with the conical tags on your site what you can do is no-index alternatives you don't want to be indexed and only opt for indexing the version you want to be seen by customers and Google. Consumers can still reach and use the alternative version by browsing your site, but Google Bot will ignore them and only focus on the version you want them to index.

Redirecting URLs, you don't want

If you want to go a step further and have the time you can scrape your site for all the alternative URLs it has created for the products you have available and then set up 301 redirects for all the versions, you would like to have removed and point them to your preffered version of the URL.

Tell us your Shopify story

Have you been frustrated with the SEO for your Shopify site? What Shopify SEO issues have you been having? Let us know in the comments below.

Contact us

If you would like us to set up SEO for your Shopify site or want to know more about digital marketing for your business, then don’t be shy we’re happy to assist. Simply contact us

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If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles. 

Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on Shopify and website tracking.

Tags: Shopify, SEO, Guest Post

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