NetSuite Consultant Reveals Quick Test That May Improve SEO

There’s this big, hairy concept called canonicalization (pronounced “kuh-non-eh-cul-eh-zation”). It refers to having multiple web addresses (URLs) for the same piece of content. It’s kind of like having twins, except in this case, you’ll have to pick one for Google to remember, and the other to have them forget. This is something I see all of the time, as a NetSuite consultant: new clients accidentally allow their websites to be accessed as both or To Google, these are two separate sites with the exact same or duplicate content (NOT GOOD).

So why is this bad? It’s bad because you are inadvertently hurting your own ability to rank well on Google (the practice of SEO or search engine optimization). This is so because you’ve likely been building up links from other websites to both versions of your website. And that means each page of your site has a duplicate version. This is more than likely hurting your rankings on Google for each of your pages because rather than getting all of those links applied to a single version, they’re split:

Let’s say you have a blogger create a link to one of your pages as and an online publication sends some of it’s visitors to the same content by linking to In this example, both versions of the “/great-content.html” page have received an external link.

So, if all else is equal between your web pages and a competitor’s, from an SEO perspective (keyword in URL, Title Tag, Meta Description Tag, Image Alt Tag, H1 Tag, Content, etc.), the pages with the most links might get the edge. I want to be clear – this is really only problematic from an SEO perspective – adding links to your website from another website will still reward you with traffic. Here’s another quick example:

If you’re competitor has seven (7) external links (linking root domains), your www. version has five (5), and your non-www. version has four (4). Your competitor would likely rank higher than either of the two versions you’ve presented to Google, as they have more external links. If you solved your canonicalization problem, however, and your linking root domains were combined – it would give you nine (9), and you would probably outrank your competitor.

While this is fairly simple to remedy, you’ll first need to determine whether you have the problem. To do this, open a browser, and type in your domain – first with and then without the www. After typing in each version, note whether the address remains in the corresponding format. So, if you type (www. version) and hit return, does the address remain after the website displays? If so, try just (non-www. version) and hit return, if the site paints in your browser window and the address remains without the www., you’ve got a canonicalization issue. If you have this issue, you’ll need to make a choice between versions – it’s usually the version with the most inbound links that should be preserved. Once you know, you’ll need to redirect the losing version to the winning version. That’s it!

If you need help implementing the concepts discussed within this blog post – as always you can reach out to us at
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NetSuite Consultant Reveals Quick Test That May Improve SEO by John-Scott Dixon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

2017-11-29T21:46:40+00:00 By |NetSuite|0 Comments

About the Author:

He has over 20 years of experience managing and leading the Ecommerce efforts of small, medium and large companies. He has held sales, sales management, marketing, operations, IS/IT, legal and executive management positions in start-up to multi-billion dollar organizations. He has also served as an adjunct professor of Ecommerce for the MBA program of the University of Missouri (where he received an MBA concentrated in Direct Marketing in 1989). He led the Ecommerce initiative for Sprint PCS (PCS) and Sprint (FON) as Vice President of Ecommerce. He led the integrated marketing efforts for Insight (NSIT) as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Ecommerce. Today, he is the CEO and Founder of Aidan Taylor Marketing – a marketing agency for small businesses (between $1 million and $20 million in annual revenue).

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