Original Poster

How long before removed canonical tag takes effect?

I have read the FAQs and checked for similar issues: [YES] / NO
Description (including timeline of any changes made):
Our CMS was set to put rel=”canonical” href=http://www.example.com
For every page on the site. All pages (e.g. example.com/page1.html, example.com/page2.html) had this canonical tag, mistakenly specifying that the home page was canonical each page. The content of the various page is very different and we did not intend to suggest they should be the home page. This was a mistake on our part. The other pages on the site (besides the home page) have now been dropped from Google’s index. I think it is because we told Google that those pages should be the home page.
We removed the canonical tag from all page yesterday. Note that we did not leave the tag in place with but change the canonical URL to the correct URL. We just removed the tag and will let Google figure it out.
My question is: how long can we expect before the dropped page re-appear in the index? They are in the XML sitemap, as they always have been. Should this take a few days, a few weeks, or longer?
I have studied the Help Center, read the FAQs and searched for similar questions.
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All Replies (3)
This is not something that can be estimated, as you would have to consider how similar the content of those pages are.
The tag is merely a hint, not a direction (like a 301) Its purpose is to specify the preferred version of many pages with near identical content, regardless of the order of that content.
It depends how often your site is crawled generally and you would have a better idea of that.

Some people report pages being indexed back within the week in the same situation - but that refers to their site..
I'm in the same boat. Obvious mistake in retrospect. But how long to reverse that damage now that the canonical tags are removed?
Would be nice if webmaster tools account had a canonical page report available, and even better if there was a way to update it within account.
Please post back to this thread if you notice any URLs re-appearing & I will do the same. good luck!!!
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