If you run a technical SEO website audit, you probably come across the error remove duplicate meta tags. These errors can have negative impacts on search rankings. The earlier you fix them, the better.
Duplicate meta tags are common WordPress SEO errors. The more website pages you create, the chances you’ll have more duplicate meta tags.
Search engines like Google use title and description meta tags to determine a page’s topic; this makes them an important on-page SEO factor. If a search engine can not determine a page’s topic, it gets confused about how to rank it in SERP.
So, if you want to improve website rankings, duplicate meta tags are one of the SEO factors you should fix as soon as possible.
In this article, here are what you will learn:
- What are duplicate meta tags
- Why duplicate meta tags are bad for SEO and user experience
- The causes of duplicate tiles and description tags
- How to find duplicate tags on your website
- How to fix duplicate meta tags and improve SEO
Now, let’s dive in…
What are Duplicate Meta Tags
Duplicate meta tags are two or more URLs with identical page titles or description text on a website.
Having duplicate meta tags can be problematic; it confuses the search engines and makes it difficult to know which is the correct page.
According to Google and other search engines, each page on your website must have a unique title and description text. This will make it easier for search engines to understand the content and context of each of your website pages.
However, depending on the post/page type, duplicate meta tags are not always a problem.
For example, tags, archives, and category pages. For many websites, tags, archives, and category pages are exempted from indexing; so you can safely ignore duplicate meta tag warnings for them.
But if you have duplicate meta tags warning for indexed pages, you must fix it on time. Follow the rest of this article to remove duplicate tiles and description tags in WordPress.
Causes of Duplicate Meta Tags
Several factors cause duplicate meta tags on your website; one of them is having two or more pages with the same title or description text. Another factor is pagination; pagination pages can cause duplicate meta tag warnings.
On top of that, categories, tags, search, and archives pages can trigger duplicate meta tags warning in search consoles and other SEO tools if these pages are not properly no-index.
For large E-commerce websites uploading hundreds of product images, often, you’ll find editors using identical product descriptions to save time. This will might lead to duplicate product description meta tags.
Detecting Duplicates Meta Tags on Your Blog
Suppose you use SEO Powersuite Website Auditor; when you enter your website URL in the tool, and run it. Give it a minute or two to run an in-depth SEO checklist on your website.
In the result, look for duplicate titles and meta-description reports.
The website has zero duplicate meta description or title tag errors in the example above. If you see a duplicate meta tags error message in the report, you should fix it immediately.
You can also detect duplicate URLs on your website from Google search console reports. Log into the search console, click on pages from the menu, and review the reports looking for duplicate pages.
Click on it, and review the lists of suspected duplicate URLs reported by the search console. Often, these pages are irrelevant to your business or users and might already have the no-index tag.
Suppose this is the case; you should ignore and forget the warning. You can see in the image below these are pages not relevant to users or businesses.
For many businesses, there are no benefits to indexing tags, categories, search, and feed pages.
But if you see pages that should be available in search in the list, you should analyze and fix the issues immediately.
Though some businesses may benefit from category and tag pages. For example, e-commerce shops.
Categories and tags help users find a set of related products quickly. You may want to index these pages if you have the technical knowledge to prevent duplicate content and URL.
Removing Duplicate Meta Tags in WordPress.
Now that you know how to detect duplicate meta tags, let’s look at how to remove duplicate meta tags in WordPress.
Depending on the situation, there are several ways to fix duplicate tags in WordPress; let’s look at a few known methods.
Duplicate Unique Meta Tags URLs
If you have two or more duplicate indexed URLs, try the following to fix duplicate meta tags:
- Rewrite the title and description to distinguish between pages
- Add a no-index tag to pages you don’t want to display in the search result
- Select the canonical URL to identify which pages the search engine should index
Duplicate Paginated URLs
You can safely remove duplicate meta tags automatically from paginated URLs if you’re using an SEO plugin.
Suppose you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin; go to Yoast SEO>>Search Appearance>>Content Types or Taxonomies – it depends on where the duplicate meta tags occur. You must ensure the SEO Title field has the page variable – %%page%%.
This will insert sitewide meta-templates for posts, custom pages, or taxonomies with no custom meta tags; it is one of the easiest ways to fix duplicate meta tags in WordPress.
However, you can add custom meta tags to individual pages if you want to customize the meta tags. To do this, open the individual page, post, custom, or taxonomies, and add the page variable to the SEO tiles.
If the page variable is not on the list, you need to search for it by clicking the “insert variable” grey button. And search by typing %page and selecting it.
Duplicate URL Parameter Meta Tags
Previously, session ID URL parameters were common, links were often broken in web browsers, and many CMS were not good at organizing URL parameters.
Google is now smarter at identifying which URLs are helpful on-site. You do not have to worry about getting duplicate URL parameter warnings.
Here is a helpful document on why you should ignore duplicate URL parameter errors on your website.
Duplicate meta tags are common in a WordPress blog; fixing them is not difficult.
With the right tools and technical know-how, you can remove duplicate meta tags without hiring an SEO professional.
I have given you the information and tools to detect and remove duplicate titles and description meta tags from your WordPress blog.