Have you ever noticed that sometimes, Google shows a slightly different URL for your content in their search results? So maybe they show your normal URL with tracking parameters at the end? Or maybe something else but similar?
Google’s John Mueller said you can use the info: command, so info:URLgoesHere to check to see which URL Google has indexed. This will tell you which URL Google really thinks is the canonical URL.
He said this in a Google hangout video at the 9:35 minute mark a couple weeks ago:
Here is the video embed:
Here is the transcript:
Do an info colon search with that URL and see which URL is actually showing in the search results.
So what sometimes happens is that you search for that specific URL and the info: result shows a slightly different URL. And the slightly different one is the one we use for indexing. So that is kind of a sign that actually we are picking up the content, but we are not indexing under that exact URL. And from a practical point of view, that is fine. It is not something that you need to fix. It does make things like reporting a little bit tricker because you can’t really see that exact count inside of Search Console.
So what I would do in a case like that is look at while Google may be choosing that different URL. And either think about changing the internal site structure to match that URL or try to find kind of mentions of the version that Google is using and taking for indexing and fix that. So maybe internally you are linking to both versions and if you kind of simplify your internal linking and just focus on the one you do want to have, then we will switch it over. So it is not a critical issue…
Forum discussion at Twitter.
This post was scheduled to go live today but was written earlier – I am currently offline today.