North and south poles was an arbitrary denotation when it was made (just as with negative and positive charges). Scientists at that time could not discern a difference. We have since come up with Quantum ElectroDynamics (or QED for short) which is very complicated and I won't go into here (partly because I don't fully understand it yet). I am fairly sure that QED has come up with a definite way of discerning between North and South poles, but don't take this as fact.
The "definite" north poles in our magnets are attracted to the magnetic North of our planet. This means (by opposites attract) Earth's magnetic North pole is actually a magnetic South (to much confusion). We still call it North because it would be too confusing to change and it will change orientation soon enough anyways (around the 4th or 5th millennium).
The North geomagnetic pole (situated between Canada and Russia) is a north magnetic pole. The needle of a compass will always point to this point on the earth's surface and, as you know, a compass always points north.
Earth's North Magnetic Pole is physically a magnetic south pole.
Historically a North pole on a magnet was, and indeed still is, one which when floated turned around to point North. To the North Pole. This causes the confusing anomaly as to do this the pole of the earth's magnet has to be physically a south pole.
This bears some similarity to the way weather vanes point to the origin of the wind, not the direction the wind is travelling in. In those days people described what they saw in purely practical terms.