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Will implementing canonical tag help in this instance?

     
7:44 am on Jan 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Morning! Hopefully some of you can pass on some advice?

I run several websites specific to local areas, they are community magazines.

One of the sites has recently started to rank above the actual site for that area. For example, searching for 'days out in x' site y appears before site x.

Should I add a canonical tag, will it help, will Google take note?

Thanks
8:41 am on Jan 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Informative article:
5 common mistakes with rel=canonical [webmasters.googleblog.com]

Your issue would likely not be helped by canonical tags unless all these sites are under the same domain with ambiguous URLs.

Try displaying the full physical addresses on the main pages for each site. Doing the same on a Contact Us type page also does well.

Registering each site on Google+ as a regional company and getting listed in Google Maps as a business all serve to help the issue. You need a way to receive mail from Google to verify the address in each location.

Then resubmit the sitemap.xml for each site to be recrawled. May take several weeks to see any changes in the index.

Also know that what you see in the search results is not necessarily what others see.
4:15 pm on Jan 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@keyplyr thanks for taking the time to give feedback, but I don't think I've explained myself correctly.

Say I have two websites, one is eventsinflorida dotcom the other is eventsingeorgia dotcom (these are made up examples)

When you search for 'events in georgia' both sites are being displayed on page one of the search results but eventsinflorida dotcom is in position #2 and eventsingeorgia dotcom is in position #8

This is happening in incognito mode and being reflected by my keyword trackers.
8:08 pm on Jan 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yes Maleda, I understood.
8:16 pm on Jan 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Okay no problem. The thing is the sites don't have a physical address.
8:21 pm on Jan 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I assumed that, since if they did you likely wouldn't have this issue.

In my experience, the physical address is the most important.