1

I have listing pages of this format:

www.example.com/xyz/abc/pageNo?x=X&y=Y

The URL parameters only are used for sorting purpose. "pageNo" is the page number.

Here the URL parameters are not mandatory. So, I also render results for:

www.example.com/xyz/abc/pageNo

Currently, the way I have the canonicals URLs is:

URL: www.example.com/xyz/abc/1?x=X&y=Y
Canonical: www.example.com/xyz/abc/1
Next: www.example.com/xyz/abc/2

URL: www.example.com/xyz/abc/2?x=X&y=Y
Canonical: www.example.com/xyz/abc/2
Prev: www.example.com/xyz/abc/1
Next: www.example.com/xyz/abc/3

URL: www.example.com/xyz/abc/2
Canonical: www.example.com/xyz/abc/2
Prev: www.example.com/xyz/abc/1
Next: www.example.com/xyz/abc/3

Is this implementation correct from the SEO standpoint?

1

It depends on what/how you sort.

canonical

If page /xyz/abc/1 contains {"A", "B", "C"}, and if page /xyz/abc/1?x=X contains {"B", "C", "D"}, it would be wrong to say that /xyz/abc/1?x=X has the canonical URL /xyz/abc/1.

If page /xyz/abc/1 contains {"A", "B", "C"}, and if page /xyz/abc/1?x=X contains {"C", "B", "A"}, it would be correct to say that /xyz/abc/1?x=X has the canonical URL /xyz/abc/1.

In other words: a canonical URL must contain the same content, and may contain additional content.

So if the sorting changes which items are on a specific page, don’t use canonical like that. If you still want to use canonical, either point to a page that contains all items, or use it to point to a canonical sorting of the parameters (so ?z=X&x=X could have the canonical URL ?x=X&z=Z).

next / prev

And no matter which case is yours, you probably want to keep the parameters for the next/prev URLs.

A visitor that has sorting x=X on page 2 will likely want to have the same sorting on page 3, and in case the visitor goes back to page 2, will likely want to see the same sorting as before.

So /xyz/abc/2?x=X&y=Y should have:

  • Prev: /xyz/abc/1?x=X&y=Y
  • Next: /xyz/abc/3?x=X&y=Y
  • Thanks @unor.That brought some clarity Would you recommend blocking parameterized URLs for SEO i.e. to prevent devaluing my listing page by having a lot of variants based on URL params? Also, I was observing the canonicals on Amazon and saw that all the below mentioned links had the same canonical URL goo.gl/1YSYvL Newest Arrivals goo.gl/BMqQ91 Low to high goo.gl/Qo5zGB New and Popular goo.gl/1YSYvL Neither their robots.txt blocks these pages nor are they marked as no-index. Is this a wrong practice or am I missing something? – HBalyan Dec 9 '16 at 6:47
  • @HBalyan: I’d say Amazon’s canonical implementation is wrong (per RFC 6596) if these are really separate pages, and not just one page using a JavaScript pager (hiding/showing items on the same page). --- Regarding blocking: I think I would noindex the parameterized URLs if the sorting is just something like alphabetical/price/date etc., but I haven’t given it much thought. – unor Dec 9 '16 at 11:43
0

If x and y parameters doesn't change the page's content then it is the right way to do it.

Remember to also include only the prev/ canonical attribute in the final page.

  • Thanks @marcanuy. I implemented in this manner cause I thought that variations using those params would not change the sorting order much. But I figured that this implementation is actual wrong because in certain cases the sorting is quite different from that of the canonicals. Also, I do not want to dilute the value of the page as URL parameters would actually lead to a lot of variations of the same product category listing and hamper the SEO. An expert suggested that to block the parameterized versions to prevent dilution. What is the best SEO way of handling paginated listings? – HBalyan Dec 8 '16 at 6:38
  • @HBalyan Categorize parameters with the URL Parameters tool google.com/webmasters/tools/crawl-url-parameters – marcanuy Dec 8 '16 at 10:12

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