If you are hosting your website on VPS like DigitalOcean or dedicated server then, you will be given dedicated IP by hosting provider.

This means your website is accessible through domain and IP both which could cause duplicate content if search engine indexes both URL and IP.

Duplicate content is not good for SEO, and this is something you should fix it immediately if found.

In this article, I will talk about how to test and fix IP canonical problem in Nginx and Apache web server.

Test IP Canonicalization

You can either access your IP address manually to check if it’s getting redirected or use following online tools to test.

Fix IP Canonical problem in Nginx

  • Login to your Nginx server.
  • Take a backup of nginx.conf file
  • Create new server block like below
server {
server_name 45.55.20.xx;
return 301 http://yourdomain.com;
  • Very obvious, you have to change IP and domain name with yours.
  • Restart Nginx, and you are all good now.

Fix IP Canonical issue in Apache

  • Login to your Apache server
  • Take a backup of httpd.conf file
  • Ensure mod_rewrite is enabled
LoadModule rewrite_module modules/mod_rewrite.so
  • Add following Rewrite rule
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^128.199.100.xxx
RewriteRule (.*) http://yourdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Make sure you to change 128.199.100.xxx to your actual IP.

This is one of the hundreds of SEO metrics, and if interested in more you should analyze your website for SEO.