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I'm using Adobe Muse to build websites and when the phone/tablet version of a site is created, canonical tags are automatically generated that point to the desktop version of the site. The canonical tags are non-editable and non-removable.

If I use .htaccess to remove the file extensions, will this have a negative impact on SEO? I'm assuming that at the very least, Google will begin to ignore the canonical tag.

I'm pretty sure the answer is yes, but I wanted to get another opinion.


To summarize...

If the mobile version of a page has a canonical tag like this:

 <link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/awesome-page.html">

But I use .htaccess to remove the file extension so that the actual URL now looks like this:

http://example.com/awesome-page

Is this bad?

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You definitely want the canonical to point to the URL where the content exists and is served, that is the point of the canonical. You also should consider the pros and cons of re writing the URL suffix via htaccess. If the rewrite is for SEO purposes then you should probably leave the page as HTML, even if the rest of the site is asp out other tech. Google doors not like suffix changes it counts as the URL changing and you lose whatever points you accumulated from age of the URL, I have experienced this.

  • Is this a typo? Google doors not like suffix changes – closetnoc Jul 12 '15 at 16:48
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To answer your question, "Yes", Google will ignore the canonical tag.

However, this isn't an ideal situation at all and will only cause you trouble in the long run. If you have no way to edit / remove the canonical tags, why not use one of the standard default file names (index, default, home) always and then you can maintain that file URL for online purposes, but use the directory structure (without file extension) when advertising so you still have pretty URLs?

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