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A lucrative page was ranking #3 in Google SERP's and 4 months ago the company used gclid tracking parameters.

This parameter became indexed in Google and the page has dropped down to #5 which has affected revenue and traffic.

We added a canonical tag and we updated the URL Parameter tool in Search Console but the gclid parameter is still indexed. We did not block it in the robots.txt file.

If we were to use the URL removal tool, is this high risk? Would it be likely that the clean URL will not replace the gclid URL and no result will return for this key term?

  • How much time is passed after you added the canonical link tag. And when you open the cache link from search result and view the source page, then can you see your canonical link tag? – Goyllo Aug 15 '17 at 11:51
  • Ah thank you, the page cache is before we updated the canonical and the canonical is not in the cached version. That's over 2 months though. Would a Google Fetch in the Search Console help? – GrapeSoda Aug 15 '17 at 12:01
  • I've found a URL that is indexed that was cached yesterday with the canonical and the gclid url is still the one ranking. I'm going to update the content and see what that does – GrapeSoda Aug 15 '17 at 13:20
  • I have recently changed my site URL structure and applied 301 redirection, and it take 1 week to get ride of duplicate content, so here canonical link tag may take more time as well. If Google index your content with proper canonical link tag, then I will say just wait. – Goyllo Aug 16 '17 at 5:54
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Try fetching and submitting the page in Google Search Console. It's likely that the page simply hasn't been re-crawled since you added the canonical, and hence has not taken effect.

Also bear in mind that the canonical is advisory, not a directive, so Google are at liberty to ignore it. As an additional step, add the gclid parameter to the parameter filter in Search Console (set to "doesn't affect page content").

As an aside, remember that blocking in robots.txt will prevent crawling, but won't prevent the disallowed URLs from being indexed or cause them to be removed from the index.

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