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I have a mobile site today with rel=canoncial to my desktop site.

I was wondering if anyone knows / have a good theory how search engines handles the following scenario.

mobile.example.com?sort=asc -> examples.com?sort=asc -> example.com

In other words i have a canonical to my desktop site to my mobile. On the desktop site there is a canonical that "removes" the sort parameter. Will Google and other search engines understand that all three pages are "duplicated" and that i do not want it to index the sort parameter?

I could also do it like this.

mobile.example.com?sort=asc -> mobile.examples.com -> example.com

These is would probably guarantee to work as i want. But it would be kind of convenient to not have to mess with "canonical exceptions" on the mobile site and just always canonical to the corresponding page on the desktop version and then let it handles canonicals.

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I see this is an old question. Answering for others who may end up here.

  1. Google chooses the URL in canonical as the primary URL.
  2. It's ok to have many URLs or sub-domains to the same content as long as one is set as canonical.
  3. Ideally, all URLs should have the canonical URL in its header. Eg: <link rel="canonical" href="[Desktop URL]" />
  4. It is good if you can also point back to the alternative URL in the main urls header with rel="alternate" in the link tag. Eg: <link rel="alternate" href="[Mob URL]" />

This is a detailed documentation from Google on this topic. I highly recommend everyone looking for answers on this to read it.

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    It sounds like you're saying the ideal is to have all canonicals point to the final preferred canonical. So in the OP's case, every page would have the canonical set to the desktop version without the sort parameter.
    – Pete
    May 18 '20 at 17:38

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