Trail Grooming for Squarespace Websites


Trail Grooming For Squarespace/

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One of the SEO oddities with Squarespace websites (there are a few), is how it handles Canonical URLs – SPOILER ALERT – it’s lousy and easily creates duplicate content.

Ski slope trail grooming machine - iconography used for squarespace trailing slash/ blog post

A canonical URL is a fancy term for the default or preferred one you wish to use. Overgeneralizing here, the consideration typically includes using OR With or without the www. I’m assuming that your URLs are already SSL (start with HTTPS) – if you’re not there yet – just do it.

Once you decide on which canonical to use – be extra careful on Squarespace of how you end your URL. and the same URL with a trailing slash are NOT always treated the same and could create duplicate-content issues for you which are not likely to trigger a warning in Google Search Console.

Grooming is fairly easy, but certainly is time-consuming for larger sites. Either use an audit tool to report all your page-level links as well as internal & external links and make sure they follow the intended format. For Squarespace, make sure your links all end without the trailing slash – Squarespace will add the trailing slash when the link is visible. Go ahead, read again.

PRO-TIP: Google sees some URLs as unique and separate pages if you’re applying the trailing slash incorrectly – see what their John Mueller had to say about it in this Search Engine Roundtable post.

When looking at how & where your links are formatted, don’t forget to look at your JavaScript, redirect links, anchor text links, file click-throughs like on images, and the like. And that’s all there is to it – so get out there, nail some trail grooming and run another audit to make sure you’ve got everything. Then either push a fresh sitemap index request through Google/Bing, or just wait for the search engines to pick up the changes on their own.

A bump in the number of indexed pages usually follows this exercise, which puts more of what you’ve got out there to be discovered.

Try it and let me know how it worked for you!

BTW, these tips also work for other website platforms, but Squarespace creates more of a mess with these issues than other platforms.

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