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We have two Pages: A and B. They are very similar content-wise, but different purpose-wise.

Page A is a description of a service and was created earlier, and Page B is landing page for that service, explaining in depth how everything works. And we want Page B to rank higher.

More than a half year ago we canonicalised Page A to point to Page B (in Yoast). However, Page A still ranks higher than Page B.

What else can we do to make the Page B rank higher?

  • I assume that Yoast uses canonical link meta tags to do that? Those just don't work that well anymore. Google is reporting in Search Console that it ignores them pretty often for me. If you log into Search Console and look at the index coverage report, is that page listed as "Google chose different canonical than user" or something like that? – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 28 '18 at 10:13
  • @StephenOstermiller Index coverage report says the page is under "Indexed, not submitted in sitemap" – Kristina J. Mar 28 '18 at 10:22
  • Do you include page A in a sitemap? Google uses sitemaps to determine which of two URLs to index, preferring ones that are in sitemaps. See The Sitemap Paradox – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 28 '18 at 10:27
  • And if the pages are not really duplicate Google may just decide to index both. When you say "similar", how similar? Do they use the same words and phrases? You say one is "in depth". Is it the same as the other page with additional information too, or is it all rearranged and rewritten? – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 28 '18 at 10:29
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    Google probably sees two pages, yes. But seniority rarely figures into it. Google determines which one ranks based on a large number of factors including which one is linked to more often and which one users react best to for that query. – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 28 '18 at 10:47
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I've seen mainly two causes for such Google behavior:

  • unbalanced internal and external linkage of both canonical and canonicalized urls,
  • user metrics of canonicalized url are WAY better than of canonical url

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