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My website is based on SharePoint. The problem here is that it automatically produces duplicate URLs one normal and one ending with /pages/index.aspx. The former are indexed and canonicalized.

However my developer has linked index.aspx URLs in navigation everywhere. Would that have any bearing on website performance? Should I change all internal links to URLs without index.aspx?

  • Even ignoring SEO, it would still be a good idea to drop the implementation details. Suppose a few years from now you want to convert your site to a non-SharePoint version. All references to index.aspx are going to have to be changed, and all search engine references to them will suddenly become useless. On my own site, all links end with a slash, and no one ever needs to know whether the actual content is *.php, *.html*, or whatever, and I can freely change such details without affecting anything, within or without, my site. – Ray Butterworth yesterday
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You should always link to your canonical URLs for SEO. There is no reason to expose your URLs with index.aspx on them.

  • They are ugly
  • They are longer
  • You would prefer the other version gets indexed by search engines.

Duplicate URLs like this rarely confuse search engines that much anymore. When Google finds duplicate pages, it ignores one and chooses one to index. When you use canonical tags, it usually chooses your canonical to index. See What is duplicate content and how can I avoid being penalized for it on my site?.

The biggest problem with linking to non-canonical URLs is that is a signal to Google that maybe you actually prefer that version. In some cases, Google will choose to index ugly URLs rather than canonical URLs when it finds other signals such as links, or inclusion in the sitemap that indicate they may be important.

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