Fixing “alternative page with proper canonical tag”

An affected page with an “alternative page with proper canonical tag” warning in Google Search Console (GSC) indicates that a URL submitted in your sitemap has a canonical tag pointing to a different URL, suggesting that the linked URL is the preferred or “canonical” version of the content. This warning is not necessarily a tag error or tag issue but rather a notification to help you verify if your canonical page tags are set up correctly.

canonical tags
Alternate page with proper canonical tag

To fix this warning or ensure your canonical tags are set up correctly, follow these steps:

  1. Verify the warning: Check the URL mentioned in the Google Search Console warning and visit the page. Inspect the source code (right-click on the page and select “View Page Source” or “Inspect”) and look for the canonical tag in the <head> section. It should look like this:
<link rel="canonical" href="" />
  1. Determine if the canonical tag is correct: If the canonical tag points to a different URL, ask yourself if this is intentional. Is the URL in the canonical tag the preferred version of the content? If yes, you don’t need to do anything, as the warning is just informing you about the canonical relationship between the two URLs.
  2. Update the canonical tag if necessary: If the canonical tag points to the wrong URL or you think the content on the original URL should be considered the canonical version, update the canonical tag to point to the correct URL. This can usually be done through your content management system (CMS) or SEO plugin settings.
  3. Remove unnecessary canonical tags: If both URLs have unique content and should be treated as separate pages by search engines, you may want to remove the canonical tag from the original URL to prevent it from being considered a duplicate.
  4. Update your sitemap: If you’ve updated or removed canonical tags, ensure your sitemap reflects these changes. Submit the updated sitemap to Google Search Console to inform Google about the changes.
  5. Monitor Google Search Console: Keep an eye on Google Search Console to ensure the warning has been resolved after making changes to your canonical tags and updating your sitemap.

By addressing the “alternative page with proper canonical tag” warning and ensuring your canonical tags are set up correctly, you can help search engines understand which version of a page to index and rank, thus avoiding duplicate content issues and improving your website’s SEO.


  • What is proper Canonical Tag?
  • How to fix “alternative page with proper canonical tag”

Published on: 2023-03-31
Updated on: 2024-04-05

Avatar for Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.