If I have a URL encoded and another does not, e.g.

  • <a href="http://example.com/images/foo abc.jpg">Image</a>
  • <a href="http://example.com/images/foo+abc.jpg">Image</a>
  • <a href="http://example.com/images/foo%20abc.jpg">Image</a>

or (using utf8)

  • <a href="http://example.com/portugal/évora">Image</a>
  • <a href="http://example.com/portugal/%C3%A9vora">Image</a>

They will be considered the same by search engines?

1 Answer 1


Spaces in URLs should be encoded. That would eliminate foo abc.jpg as the canonical.

Here is a question that addresses how the space should be encoded: In a URL, should spaces be encoded using %20 or +? Spaces may only be encoded as a + in the query string portion of the URL, so that eliminates the foo+abc.jpg as the canonical.

Your canonical URL for the space should be foo%20abc.jpg

For URLs with non-ASCII UTF-8 characters, the real URL is always the encoded one. Browsers typically only display the URL with non-ASCII characters in the address bar. If you copy and paste the URL out, you will get the encoded version. For example see: https://www.dmoz.org/World/Thai/%E0%B8%9A%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%99/

That makes your canonical URL: %C3%A9vora

  • Thanks for the reply, sorry still not quite understand, I refer only to the search engines. I need to know if they are considered canonicals links. Sorry if I did not understand something.
    – Korvo
    Aug 19, 2015 at 11:22
  • 3
    Search engines will take their cues from the specs and browser behavior. You need to choose which URL you treat as canonical and I have pointed you to the ones that the search engines are most likely to support. Aug 19, 2015 at 14:12

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