What is URL normalization? How to optimize your search engine

What is URL normalization? How to optimize your search engine

What is URL normalization? How to optimize your search engine

Various measures have been taken so that the websites we normally visit are displayed at the top of the search results. One of the many measures is "URL normalization". In this article, we'll discuss the need for URL normalization, examples of URLs that need to be normalized, and how to do it.

What is URL normalization?

URL normalization means unifying the URLs that you want to collect evaluations from search engines when there are multiple URLs with the same content.

There are multiple ways to normalize URLs. The setting method will be explained later.

Why is normalization necessary?

There are three main disadvantages of unnormalized URLs.

Evaluation in search ranking is dispersed

Crawlerability (decreased web page recognition when Googlebot detects a web page

Tracking analysis is time-consuming

 Evaluation in search ranking is dispersed

Search engines rate pages by URL.

Therefore, even if the pages have the same content, if the URLs are different, they will be regarded as different pages, and the evaluations that should have been collected on one page may be distributed .

In addition, a penalty may be imposed on mirror content that recognizes a site that has the same content as an existing website as a fake.

Decreased crawlerability

The non-normalized URL will cause the Google bot to crawl every page on your site. As a result, careless pages will also be crawled, leading to reduced crawlability.

Tracking analysis is time-consuming

When analyzing a site, the presence of duplicate pages will increase the amount of URL data extracted. Therefore, it takes time and effort to operate, and tracking analysis becomes difficult.

 Specific examples that require normalization

I think everyone has many opportunities to see pages with https: // and www. Here, we will introduce when normalization is necessary.

With or without index.html

The presence or absence of "index.html", "/ (slash)", and "? (Question mark)" at the end of the URL of the site is also applicable.

When unifying, we recommend "None" unless there is a clear reason. Not only is the URL shorter and easier to enter, but it can also be used when the extension changes.

 With or without www

There are no advantages or disadvantages with or without www.

bad example

Good example




[Advantages of having www]

It is easy to understand if it is a website even if there is no protocol name (https: // or http: //) part

Some users are aware that websites have www

Major sites such as Google and Yahoo! also have "www", giving the impression that the site is solid.

[Advantages without www]

The URL is shorter so it's easier for users to remember

Easy to input on devices such as smartphones and tablets

Each has its own merits, but we recommend choosing one that suits your brand image. The most important thing is that both domains do not exist.

 With / without encryption

Even if https: //, http: //, or "s" is omitted, it is considered as another site. https: // strengthens the security of the site and guarantees the reliability of the site.

Google also recommends https: //, and if you want to reach the top of the search ranking, it is essential to strengthen security from the viewpoint of usability.

On the other hand, it also has the disadvantage of requiring operational costs and migration.

bad example

Good example


http s : //digitalidentity.co



URL parameters are variables (character strings) that are added to the end of URLs to send information to programs that run on the server side.

Mainly on EC sites, parameters called active parameters are used to recognize and analyze user behavior within the site to create an environment that is easy for users to use.


bad example

Good example

https://digitalidentity.co.jp/service/lp-creation/ ? ad = 123456



Page for smartphones and tablets

If you have a separate domain or directory for your smartphone or tablet, and you want to distinguish it from a PC site with / sp / in the directory, you need to normalize the URL.

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Normalization method

I have explained specific examples that require normalization. Now, let me explain with a concrete example how to actually normalize.

 301 redirect


If you see an unwanted URL, you can do a 301 redirect to get the preferred URL.

This method is also recommended in the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide .

 canonical tag

If 301 redirects are not available or if you want to normalize the URL of the parameter, use the canonical tag to normalize it.


[How to do] Describe <link rel = ”canonical” href = ”URL of the page for which you want to collect evaluations”

> in <head> of each duplicate page . Also, if the pages for smartphones and tablets introduced in 3.5 are different, you can normalize with this method. Place a canonical tag on the page for smartphones and tablets and describe that the PC page is the page you want to collect evaluations. Then, place an alternate tag on the PC page to indicate that the search engine has a page for smartphones. The alternate tag is responsible for telling the search engine that the URL for the smartphone exists in addition to the URL for the PC.

How to check the canonicalized URL

If you don't know if it is normalized or not, you can check it by the following method.

Check with Search Console

You can see if it is normalized by logging in to the Google search console, clicking URL Inspection from the left menu, and entering the URL you want to look up. If you know the details, you can check them from the coverage.

Use redirect check tool

If you search with the redirect check tool, multiple sites will appear, so you can check by entering the URL you want to look up there. The number of redirects is displayed, and if it is 0, there is no redirect and it can be said that it is normalized.

Redirection check tool: ohotuku.jp


We have introduced necessary examples and countermeasures for URL normalization. URL normalization refers to unifying the URLs that you want to collect evaluations from search engines when there are multiple URLs with the same content, and this can be solved by using 301 redirects or canonical tags.

URL normalization is the basis of SEO internal measures, but it is a very important measure to prevent the evaluation from search engines. I hope this will be an opportunity to review your company's website. Let's try to make a better website.

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