How do I fix duplicate meta tags?

Google Search Console (former Google Webmaster Tools) reports you to 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.

Unique URLs with duplicate meta tags

If you have multiple unique URLs with the same meta tags, you may decide to:

  • Change the title of pages to distinguish between the 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

If you have paginated URLs with duplicate meta or title tags, you can add the page template variable in two ways.

  • Add the page variable to the metas 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 SEO->Search Appearance->Content Types OR Taxonomies (depending on where the issue is) and making sure the title field has the page variable: %%page%%. 

If you do not see the Page Template variable you will need to search for it by clicking on Insert Snippet Variable and then searching for the %page variable.

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

Parameter URLs with duplicate meta tags

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

Other URL formats

Google has even more advice on handling duplicate content here.

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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