starting around February 25th, 2019 we have been having pages excluded from indexing for our UK website with the error "Duplicate, submitted URL not selected as canonical". We have not had this issue in the past years and has only popped up recently on thousands of pages. We have three websites for our e-commerce business:
- .com (global market all in English)
- .co.uk (UK market with the exact same English content as our .com website)
- .nl (Netherlands market all in Dutch)
The issue is only affecting our UK website. Thousands of our product pages, category pages, and articles are getting this error and are becoming de-indexed. Google sees the "User-declared canonical" if declared to be our UK website, but then lists the "Google-selected canonical" as the equivalent page on our .com website. This is causing a de-index of pages, which is then obviously resulting in a loss of organic traffic. It is currently affecting roughly 33% of our website.
Based on this post: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2019/02/consolidating-your-website-traffic-on.html. I thought that maybe our traffic would be shown on our .com site with this issue. However, when looking at the specific data for the UK on both sites, this is not the case. We are losing the traffic.
We have done the following:
- Self referencing canonical tags
- Both pages with and without the self-referencing tag get the error.
- nl (points to .nl website)
- en-gb (points to .co.uk website)
- en (points to .com website)
- x-default (points to .com website)
- International Targeting set in GSC
- .nl (Netherlands
- .co.uk (United Kingdom)
- .com (not set as it is for the global market)
Any thoughts on fixes for this as our .com and .co.uk have the exact same English content and this has not been an issue for years until recently. Thanks in advance!