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We have 3 product pages in which we have added some internal links (PDF links), the crawl report Google search console is showing an error called "Submitted URL not selected as canonical".

The PDF is product a instruction guide that will be common in almost all items in website. How to overcome that issue in Google search console?

  • To be able to contextualize and understand in the correct way this " Submitted URL not selected as canonical" it is necessary to see what you refer to screenshots, URLs, etc. – Mazharul Haq SEO Jan 28 '18 at 8:36
  • Which URL do you want to be the canonical and which is Google choosing? Are you saying you want the HTML page to be the canonical, but Google is choosing the PDF? – Stephen Ostermiller Feb 24 '18 at 13:05
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If the PDF content is too similar to your html content you can prevent google from crawling these pages by adding rel="nofollow" to your links pointing to the PDF files.

I think you can also prevent Google from crawling these pages by adding PDF as a parameter here https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/crawl-url-parameters?hl=en&siteUrl=

You can also change the http header for PDF files to canonical. Here is one method:

enter image description here

You can also write the header canonical in PHP and call the PDF file:

enter image description here

You can learn more about it here:

https://moz.com/blog/how-to-advanced-relcanonical-http-headers

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The main requirement for clean and automatic implementation is, that your pdf files have same file names as their according html pages, i.e.:

  • html page: /example-guide-1.html
  • according pdf file: /example-guide-1.pdf

After you got this structure into your file names you add something like following to your htaccess to add to all pdf files the canonical link to according html file:

RewriteRule ([^/]+)\.pdf$ - [E=FILENAME:$1] <FilesMatch "\.pdf$"> Header add Link "< https://example.com/%{FILENAME}e.html >;rel=\"canonical\"" </FilesMatch>

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