How do I fix duplicate meta tags?

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Google Search Console can report that you have duplicate meta titles or duplicate meta descriptions. Each URL should have unique meta tags, so this is important to fix as soon as possible. In this article, we’ll explain how.

Unique URLs with duplicate meta tags

You may have multiple unique URLs which have the same meta titles or meta descriptions:

In this case, you may decide to:

  • change the title of pages to distinguish between these duplicate pages;
  • add a canonical URL to indicate which page search engines should index;
  • set all but one page to noindex.

Subpages with duplicate meta or title tags

You may also have subpages with duplicate meta or title tags. For example, if you have paginated URLs, like these:

In this case, a solution would be to add the page snippet variable in Yoast SEO to the title tag. You can add the page template variable in two ways:

  • Add the ‘Page number’ variable to the SEO title template for a site-wide fix for pages, posts, or taxonomies that do not have custom meta tags. This variable can be added by going to Yoast SEO > Settings > Content types (Posts, Pages, etc.) or Categories & tags (Categories, Tags, etc.), depending on where the issue is. Here, make sure the title field has the page variable ‘Page number’. 
Screenshot of the Posts settings in Yoast SEO, highlighting the 'Page number' variable in the SEO title.

If you do not see the ‘Page number’ variable, you will need to search for it by clicking on ‘Insert variable’ and then searching for the ‘Page number’ variable.

Alternatively, you can add the page variable directly to the page, post, or taxonomy to customize the meta and title tags.

Screenshot of the 'Page' variable in the SEO title field in the Google preview in the Yoast SEO metabox.

Parameter URLs with duplicate meta tags

You could also have parameter URLs with duplicate meta tags. For example:

Google has advice on handling duplicate content caused by URL parameters on this page.

Other URL formats

Google has even more advice on handling duplicate content on this page.

Both the free and Premium version of Yoast SEO give you full control over your SEO titles and meta descriptions. But let’s be honest, Yoast SEO Premium can do a whole lot more! Like redirecting your URLs if you delete or change them. No more 404 errors to worry about. So if you’re serious about SEO, switch to Yoast SEO Premium!

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