Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My website URL structure is:


If an invalid human readable name is provided, the page 301 redirects to the correct URL.

I've noticed recently that Google has started indexing partial URLs, i.e:


If I make requests to those indexed URLs, I am 301 redirected to the correct page.

Is there a way to force Google to use the 301 redirected URL?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The 301 redirect should be doing this already. You should verify that the 301 redirect is being sent out especially to googlebot.

Another way to do this is to use canonical URLs to tell Google which URL they should display in their search results.

share|improve this answer
I have verified the 301s work via Curl (including with using a gbot useragent). Also, If one of partial links are clicked from the SERPs the page is 301 redirected to the correct URL. I'll take a look at canonical URLs. – drtldr Jul 24 '12 at 19:32
@drtldr - Did you ever work this out? Same is happening to my site(s), Google is indexing the 301's. In Webmaster Tools, if I fetch the 301 page, it actually fetches the content, doesn't indicate there's a 301. But Fiddler/Chrome Developer Tools all tell me (correctly) there's a 301 redirect. Any update? – Sean May 8 '13 at 7:49
I just checked Bing and it has the same problem. – Sean May 8 '13 at 8:06
I haven't seen any negative SEO indicators from this (with close to 17 million pages indexed), so I stopped actively investigating. However, As this answer suggests, I suspect providing a rel=canonical HTTP header (not html tag!) along with the 301 response should sort it for you. – drtldr May 9 '13 at 11:07
drtldr: You can't send that in an HTTP header. Only headers that are written as http-equiv can be sent like that. Canonical is rel. – Zdenek Jan 23 at 22:29

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.