Duplicate, Google chose a different canonical than the user shows that Google only indexes these URLs to be duplicates and chose to ignore the canonical URL that you have defined. Instead, Google applies a different canonical tag.
Mostly we see this issue for URLs that have duplicate content or thin content. Here are some examples:
- A website that serves the same information to the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, relying solely on the Hreflang link property.
- An e-commerce store with product variants that have little to no unique content but have a self-referencing canonical.
- When a website’s content is accessible through HTTP and HTTPS, canonicals are set to the HTTP variant, while Google favors HTTPS.
One thing that needs to be focused on when Google does not follow the index preferences is to learn why and resolve it.
Duplicate, Google chose a different canonical than the user
- Navigate to Coverage > Duplicate. Google chose a different canonical than the user, and you may use the URL Inspection tool to determine which URL Google chose as the canonical instead.
- If Google rejected a self-referencing canonical, you should make the content of the page more distinctive and include more inbound internal links.
- You have various ways if Google overlooked a canonical linking to another URL:
- Make the content more comparable so that Google will be more inclined to follow your canonical.
- Change the canonical to a more appropriate URL. Perhaps Google was correct, and you should simply use the URL they chose as the canonical URL.
- Implement a redirect if your site is accessible through HTTP and HTTPS, and/or with and without the www subdomain.
In Google’s canonicalization process, it’s crucial to eliminate any ambiguity in identifying the primary version of a URL. The goal is to make it absolutely clear which URL Google should prioritize for indexing and ranking.