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Google was indexing 1,400,000 of my pages. For the last 15 days, the number of indexed pages drops each day by 5,000 to 10,000. I have not seen any warnings or notices in Google webmaster tools.

I am using this tag on each of my pages:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com" /> 

Is this what is causing the problem? I'm scared that Google will remove all my pages from their index.

  • Why are you specifying the homepage as the canonical for all your pages? Whilst that would seem to be incorrect, I doubt that it is the underlying cause. The rel="canonical" is advisory, if it is wholly incorrect then Google should ignore it - unless your homepage is indeed very similar to all your other pages?! For how long have you had 1.4 million pages indexed? Have there been any structural changes to your site? – MrWhite Jan 21 '16 at 9:53
  • @w3dk yes i have rel="canonical" for all pages and front page because my pages is similar, you mean this affect ? i had 1.4 milion for 1 year, no i not change nothing structural on my site ... – nikola99 Jan 21 '16 at 10:02
  • If the pages are similar then Google might just be making its own judgement - maybe there's been an algorithm change? Certainly if pages are very similar then you are going to be treading a fine line. However, if the homepage is not the canonical page then you certainly shouldn't be including the canonical tag. – MrWhite Jan 21 '16 at 10:14
  • yes i add canonical in header for all, front, about, contact ... so you mean this is problem or ? i see in webmaster tool write all fine ... in past i get one notice ''Googlebot found an unusually high number of URLs on your site'' but this i guess not affect on drop in indexed pages per day ? also in webmaster tool i see diagram for indexed go top but when i add in google site:domain.com then see drop for each day – nikola99 Jan 21 '16 at 10:25
  • My home page is the only page that has any valuable content, all the others are duplicates. Ahem... Umm??? – Fiasco Labs Feb 24 '16 at 1:50
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Canonical tags are meant to be used when you have pages with the same (duplicate) content. When you put a canonical tag on each of you pages pointing to the home page, you are telling Google that every one of your pages has the same content as the home page.

Pretty soon Google is going to be indexing only your home page unless you fix that tag. You could:

  • Remove the tag entirely
  • Point the canonical URL in the tag back to the page itself. That prevents Googlebot from seeing duplicate issues caused by stray URL parameters, other domain names that point to your site, or other odd ways that the same page can be accessed on a different URL.
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