I have an existing canonical URL in the form http://example.com/page1 for a page called http://example.com/page1.html and use .htaccess to rewrite the URL of anything without an extension so it ends in .html

However, I want to create a new page which can be accessed as either http://example.com/page1 or http://example.com/page1-alternative-name (or the .html versions of either).

  • Can I add a canonical URL for this alternative name, but have google & other search engines index it under both names, but recognize both as the same page with the same rank/SEO result, and combined webmaster stats?

  • If a canonical URL should not be used will the .htaccess access rewrite rule alone by enough to allow search engines to recognize non-duplicate content with alternative names? Is there something I can do to flag this alternative name like link=alternate?

Page names and given SEO weight and certain terms/phrases have multiple preferred terms (this is not some kind of keyword stuffing).

So far from reading many answers here I can see multiple canonicals are allowed, but cannot find anything similar to this situation.

  • "have google [...] index it under both names" - and which one should be returned in the SERPs? "multiple canonicals are allowed" - multiple canonicals doesn't really make sense. You either have a canonical or you don't.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you're trying to have /primary1 & /alt1 both indexed with the same content. This will appear to search engines as duplicate pages and have a negative effect on your ranking.

Without fully understanding what you're doing, it sounds like you just want both URLs accessible, so you'd be better off setting the canonical for /alt1 to point to /primary1 so that gets the best chance of ranking well. You can then still link to /alt1 and use it in emails and ad campaigns, but the primary URL /primary1 will always be canonical.

  • so that means only one name will rank well?
    – Mousey
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 15:15

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