Duplicate Without User-Selected Canonical

How to Resolving Duplicate without User-Selected Canonical

A clean, well-structured website is essential when it comes to search engine optimization. One of the problems and obstacles that your SEO encounters is duplicate content. When several of your website’s pages contain identical or very related material, duplicate content creates confusion for search engines, and they don’t understand which page to index and rank to. A duplicate without user-selected canonical is a standard type of duplicate content problem. It indicates that Google has discovered two pages that seem to be identical on your website but cannot find a “canonical” tag that specifies which page is the preferred version.

What Causes Duplicate Without User-Selected Canonical Status?

If your GSC has a “Duplicate without user-selected canonical” label next to a link or a page, it means Google identified the duplicated content within your website; however, it hasn’t indexed any version of it. It happens mostly because Google doesn’t know which version of the identical copies are preferable. There are two main reasons for this errors

  1. Duplicate content: There is more than one page with content matching or similar; in this case, several product pages were described with the same characteristics with minor changes or sample ID in URL-addresses .
  2. Canonical Tag missing: No rel=”canonical” tag is set, so important fact isn’t mentioned to search engines which link is primary for the website and preferable to be shown in search results.

Here are some additional factors that can contribute to this status:

  1. Technical issues: back-end difficulties such as sitemap, metadata tag, and dynamic URLs issues generate duplicate content on your website. We include duplicate content levels in your sitemap, filtering and sorting factors in your dynamic URLs, and several pages use identical title tags.
  2. Site migrations: The subdomain of your old site may still be available in search results for months, leading to duplicate content on your new subdomain.

How to Fix ‘Duplicate Without User-Selected Canonical’ Status

Duplicate without user-selected canonical means that Google found duplicates of your webpages, but Google was not able to know which one was your “main” version. The reasons for that may be various, but the solution lies in recognizing the duplicate version and indicating to Google which of the URLs should be given a preference.

Here’s a breakdown of the steps to fix this issue:

  • Find Duplicate Pages

Go to Google Search Console, open the Index section, and select the Coverage option.

Then, click on the Not indexed tab, and filter the issue by the Duplicate without user-selected canonical status. The following page will show you all the duplicate URLs.

  • Choose a Canonical URL

Go to the available copies and choose the URL of the article that you want to index Google as canonical. In most cases, the best choice is the informative or the user-friendly URL

  • Choose a Fixing Method:

There are two main ways to tell Google which URL is the canonical one:

  1. Canonical Tags: Adda<linkrel=”canonical”href=”https://Example.com/preferred-page”> tag to the HTML head section of all the duplicate pages. Replace “https://Example.com/preferred-page” with the URL of the chosen canonical version.
  2. 301 Redirects: You also should establish a 301 redirect from all the rest duplicate URLs to the preferred canonical URL. In fact, in this case, the word “preferred” means that both users and search engines are permanently directed to this URL.
  3. Submit for Re-indexing: 

Your next step is to submit the URLs that this decision affects according to your preference of the implementation of the exchange in the URL inspection tool in your Google Search Console available . Your request’s purpose is to notify Google to have the URLs re-crawled shortly with the new commitment to canonicalized-indexing . 

four steps, the “Duplicate, Google chose to canonicalize ” method should show the approval that it can be shown and actually indexed.


In conclusion, it is crucial to remove an “duplicate without user-selected canonical” error from your website during the search engine optimization process. By implementing the canonical tag or 301 redirect, you show to Google which pages it should prefer, thus enabling better SEO ranking and faster site crawl. Do not forget to validate the canonical tags, eliminate errors in them and submit the sitemap to Google Search Console .

If you want to know about it in depth then click here : – Duplicate without user-selected canonical by Google

Frequently Ask Questions

1.What are the consequences of ignoring this error?

Failure to correct the mistake can have damaging effects on your SEO for two reasons. Initially, Google may index the incorrect duplicate page which would indeed lower your rankings for its corresponding content. Second, spiders may squander their indexing time with duplicates rather than with original content on your page.

2.How can I identify duplicate pages on my website?

There are a variety of resources for spotting duplicate content. One is the Coverage report in Google Search Console, which contains a “Duplicate without user-selected canonical” error in the Excluded tab. Other resources, such as plagiarism checker online, Copyscape, or SEO tools such as Siteliner, can use algorithms to identify duplicates across the internet.

3. Are there situations where I wouldn’t need a canonical tag?

Canonical tags are primarily for situations where you have multiple pages with very similar content. If you have unique content on each page, you generally wouldn’t need a canonical tag. For example, product pages with unique descriptions wouldn’t require them.

4.What if I have a lot of duplicate pages? Can I fix them all at once?

It is not convenient to manually add the canonical tag to every duplicate. However, it is possible to mass-fix them depending on your website platform. Some CMS platforms such as WordPress have plugins that permit managing the canonical tag for many pages.

 5.I fixed the error, but how long does it take for Google to recognize the changes?

It is not possible to predict the time it will take for Google to recrawl and update its index after the canonical issue is fixed. Nonetheless, submitting an updated sitemap to Google Search Console may induce them to crawl your site sooner. Alternatively, you can use the URL Inspection tool in Search

<b style="color:#ff642d">Aashish Mathur</b>

Aashish Mathur

A Digital Marketer and Search Engine Optimization specialist

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