How to rectify my Duplicate Meta Descriptions and Title Tags?


Recently, I have changed my site from PHP to ASP and did Permanent 301 Redirection to the old urls. It’s also working fine. Now in the Google Webmaster Tool it is notifying me like this:

Pages with duplicate meta description and Pages with duplicate Title Tags



Likewise, some pages are detected as Having Duplicate Title Tags and Duplicate Meta Description.
Which means GoogleBot consider my old URL and my New URL as the different one. Now what to do, Please help me out…

In a random check of you pages I couldn’t find duplicates. Anyhow, if they are there I guess you have to analyze how your backend is inserting them and make sure it only does so one.

I have the exact same thing going on with a site I have recently launched a new version of. I changed the url structures to friendlier more semantic ones, so you no longer see the php extensions and the full variable setups.
What happens is, Google’s indexes of the site are in a transitional period. It may have the new versions of pages indexed, but still also have the old version and these may flag up as duplicates.
I believe it is really just a waiting game, as it can take some considerable time for Google to both index all your new pages and purge all of the old pages from the index. Over time as the old pages are dropped from the index, the duplicate errors should gradually reduce.
But what you do need to do is, ensure that the old pages are deleted, get all your 301 redirects in working order (which you appear to have). You may want to use “Remove URLs” in GWT to help drop pages from the index, though I have over 500 pages, so that’s a bit tedious. You can use “Fetch as Google” to hasten the indexing of new pages.
One other thing that I notice you are doing wrong, is setting up your canonical tags for all pages, this tells Google which version of a url is the correct one that you want indexing. Currently you have the homepage set as the canonical url for all pages.

<link rel="canonical" href="" />

Each page that is different should have its own unique canonical url set.


Thanks a lot for your kind reply…

Thanks for your Reply Mr. Ralphm

Since this topic has surfaced again, I’ll give an update on my situation with this issue.
At the time of my previous post I was getting about 350 duplicate description and titles (each) reported.
That figure subsequently rose to about 750, bearing in mind the site has about 570 pages.
But more recently the number has started to fall. now just over a month after the re-launch of the site, it is showing about 150 and falling. So it does take some time, but they do clear eventually.

To reassure anyone concerned about being penalised for duplicate content in this situation, where the same page is indexed twice during the re-crawl period, well that doesn’t appear to be a problem.
The “Search Analytics” in GWT show that immediately after re-launching the site my average search position did take a big, sudden slump, which was expected so did not panic me. But then recovered just as quickly and levelled out to an even better position than before, in spite of Google complaining about duplicates.

(The update marked was a Google update, the site update occurred where you see the big dip)

Previous to my update, the average position was hovering between around 25 - 30. After recovering from the dip it has settled around the teens. I can’t pin that improvement one any one thing as the site update involved multiple changes, from improvements to the back-end: databases and php scripting to the front-end: new look re-design, improved html mark up and friendlier url structure.
The actual content remained largely the same, the the improvement may have come from the new URLs, better HTML structure or possibly speed improvements. But likely a combination of all these on-page enhancements.

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