My website URL structure is:


If an invalid human readable name is provided, the page 301 redirects to the correct URL.

I've noticed recently that Google has started indexing partial URLs, i.e:


If I make requests to those indexed URLs, I am 301 redirected to the correct page.

Is there a way to force Google to use the 301 redirected URL?

1 Answer 1


The 301 redirect should be doing this already. You should verify that the 301 redirect is being sent out especially to googlebot.

Another way to do this is to use canonical URLs to tell Google which URL they should display in their search results.

  • I have verified the 301s work via Curl (including with using a gbot useragent). Also, If one of partial links are clicked from the SERPs the page is 301 redirected to the correct URL. I'll take a look at canonical URLs.
    – drtldr
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 19:32
  • @drtldr - Did you ever work this out? Same is happening to my site(s), Google is indexing the 301's. In Webmaster Tools, if I fetch the 301 page, it actually fetches the content, doesn't indicate there's a 301. But Fiddler/Chrome Developer Tools all tell me (correctly) there's a 301 redirect. Any update?
    – Sean
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 7:49
  • I just checked Bing and it has the same problem.
    – Sean
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 8:06
  • I haven't seen any negative SEO indicators from this (with close to 17 million pages indexed), so I stopped actively investigating. However, As this answer suggests, I suspect providing a rel=canonical HTTP header (not html tag!) along with the 301 response should sort it for you.
    – drtldr
    Commented May 9, 2013 at 11:07
  • drtldr: You can't send that in an HTTP header. Only headers that are written as http-equiv can be sent like that. Canonical is rel.
    – Zdenek
    Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 22:29

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