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I understand that Magento uses canonical URLs. For example, when I navigate through some categories on my website and select a product I may be taken to a URL that looks like the following:

www.myshop.com/shop-by-brand/natures-plus/agelosstm-joint-support-tablets.html

However when I view source, I can see that the canonical URL points to here:

www.myshop.com/agelosstm-joint-support-tablets.html

Therefore search engines understand that the page I'm on is really a duplicate of the page on the root.

I see that under Manage Products in admin I have this field:

enter image description here

I'm assuming this the true URL of the product. Or the preferred URL, whatever you want the search engine to index.

If I wanted to include categories within the canonical URL, would I simply change this field?

To something like this?

category/subcategory/agelosstm-joint-support-tablets

And if that is the case, would I then need a 301 to tell search engines that www.myshop.com/agelosstm-joint-support-tablets.html is now category/subcategory/agelosstm-joint-support-tablets.html or will Magento take care of that itself?

Thanks

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Regarding changing your canonical url from admin: It is not always true that magento will directly use the url_key attribute value for generating the canonical url. If magento found a duplicate of url_key, it will add some random values like product_id towards the end of the canonical url and same with the url key.

If you are changing the url key value, magento will automatically create a 301 to the new url key unless you untick the "Create permanent redirect..." checkbox.

If you really want to add the category path with the canonical url, you mage refer below magento module (I haven't used that yet and not sure whether they support everything they promise)

https://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/canonical-urls-for-category-product-and-cms-pages.html

Before you purchase the module, think about which category name you will use if the product is assigned to multiple categories.

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