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Google Search index link [canonical_link]

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Submit the Google Search index link [canonical_link] attribute for products that are eligible for free product listings on Google and use it to ensure that your products are associated with the correct URL in Google's Search index. The URL in this attribute is not served, but will improve Google's understanding about the product.

The Google Search index link [canonical_link] attribute works similarly to the 'canonical URL' markup tag, and allows you to influence which URLs Google uses for your products in our web search index.

If you use tracking or variant selection parameters in your link [link] or mobile link [mobile_link] attributes, we recommend using the Google Search index link attribute.

In this article

When to use 

 OptionalOptional for each product

Use the Google Search index link [canonical_link] attribute to indicate which URL you want Google to use when matching your products' landing pages with the Search index. If you do not indicate a canonical link, Google will crawl your site and set whichever URL it considers to be the most representative as the canonical link.

If you already provide a Google Search index URL in your product landing page markup you do not need to provide the Google Search index link [canonical_link] attribute. If you provide a value for both and those values don't match, Google will select a link based on internal signals.

You can also set a noindex tag in the html of your landing page if you want to prevent your page from being crawled and added to the web index.


Follow these formatting guidelines to make sure that Google understands the data that you're submitting.

Learn when and how to submit your product data in English

Type URL (including http or https), ASCII characters only and RFC 3986 compliant
Limits 1–2,000 characters
Repeated field No
File format Example entry
Text (TSV)
XML (Feeds) <g:canonical_link></g:canonical_link>

To format your data for Content API, see the Content API for Shopping resource.

Note: To ensure that this product data attribute is recognised by our system correctly, remember to submit your data feed file in a format that we support.

Minimum requirements

These are the requirements that you'll need to meet to show your product. If you don't follow these requirements, we'll disapprove your product and let you know in your Merchant Center account.

  • Make sure that your attribute value meets the requirements for canonical URLs. Learn more about requirements for Google Search index URLs
  • Start with https or http and comply with RFC 3986. For example:
  • Use your verified domain name. Make sure that you use the domain name that you verified (during account setup or through the Website verification tab).
  • Make sure that your canonical URLs can be crawled by Google. For example, ensure that your robots.txt file is configured correctly. Otherwise, your landing page will not appear in the search results. Learn more about robots.txt files
  • Replace any symbols or spaces with URL encoded entities. For example, if your URL contains an &, then replace it with %26.
  • Submit only one Google Search index link attribute for your product. If you provide multiple Google Search index link attributes for the same item, only one of them will be applied.

Best practices

These best practices can help you to go beyond the basic requirements to optimise your product data performance.

  • Use a stable Google Search index link. The link (or URL) that you include shouldn't change unless your landing page moves. Don't use URLs with timestamps or parts that could change each time that you submit your product data.
  • Whenever you change your URL, your landing page will need to be evaluated and crawled. This process could cause unnecessary load on your servers.
  • Use a landing page that doesn't include parameters in its URL as the destination for this link. If parameters are set, Google may crawl the URL inefficiently and exclude the URL that you want to include.
  • Don't use pre-selected variants. The Google Search index link to your landing page should have no pre-selected variants.
  • Don't use tracking parameters in Google Search index links. Tracking parameters may be removed by Google's web crawler and will make the matching of your products against the search index less accurate.
  • Don't use the ads redirect attribute for your Google Search index links. Redirects may not be crawled by Google's web crawler and your URL may not be included in search results.



If you have multiple URL variants of the same product, for example, a dress in multiple colours or sizes, you can set the Google Search index link [canonical_link] attribute to direct all variants of the product to a single base product, which has no variants pre-selected, as in the examples below:
Product data for a small blue dress
Attribute Value
Colour [color] Blue
Size [size] S
Link [link]
Google Search index link
Product data for a large green dress
Attribute Value
Colour [color] Green
Size [size] L
Link [link]
Google Search index link [canonical_link]

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