There are many pages in my website which are reported as excluded in Google search console report. The reason mentioned is “Duplicate, submitted URL not selected as canonical”. On inspect URL, I found that there is difference in ‘User-declared canonical’ and ‘Google-selected canonical’. For example:

  • User-declared canonical: http://www.example.com/myPage
  • Google-selected canonical: http://example.com/myPage

As you can notice, www is missing in Google-selected canonical.

Please suggest how to solve this issue.

  • 2
    How are you canonicalizing between www and no-www? Are you serving the same content at both with canonical tags or does one redirect to the other? Do you have an XML sitemap? If so, which URLs does it contain? How old is your site? When is the last time you changed how www and no-www work? Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


It usually isn't problematic to have Google choose to index a different canonical. Your page is still getting indexed and ranked in Google. Users are just getting sent to an alternate URL which still works.

That being said, you can try to get Google to index your preferred canonical URL. Google uses several signals to figure out which URL is the canonical:

  1. Canonical tags
  2. Redirects
  3. Links to the page
  4. XML sitemaps

When Google chooses a different canonical, it is usually because it isn't getting consistent data from all those signals. To get Google to index your preferred canonical:

  1. Use canonical meta tags in myPage that specify the canonical URL to be http://www.example.com/myPage. Make sure the URL is fully qualified.
  2. Redirect alternate URLs using "301 permanent" redirects. Redirects are usually a stronger signal for canonical purposes than canonical tags. So make sure http://example.com/myPage redirects to http://www.example.com/myPage.
  3. Fix any links that point to the non-canonical URL. If you have any links on your site that point to http://example.com/myPage, fix them yourself. If there are external links that point to http://example.com/myPage then contact the site with the link and ask them to change it.
  4. Create an XML sitemap, submit it to Google, and ensure that it only lists your canonical URLs. Make sure that http://example.com/myPage is purged from any existing XML sitemaps.

Once Google sees everything pointing to the same canonical URL, it will eventually choose to index the user-chosen canonical. Google will start switching the URLs on your site over one by one within a couple weeks. For the least popular pages on your site, it could take months or even a year.

  • Don't you think "It usually isn't problematic to have Google choose to index a different canonical." is a bit dependent on the context of this question? I would say that "It isn't always or necessarily problematic". In this case I agree with you, however, I think it would be beneficial for OP to understand when it would be problematic. Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 13:15
  • 1
    @MikeCiffone I was thinking that it is only problematic when Google gets it wrong and the two pages are not similar at all. That seems to be happening far less often than it used to. Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 13:52

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