How to fix duplicate meta descriptions
Presently, there are seven distinct meta tags that can be used with Google’s search engine. The title and description tags are the most crucial ones to fill out. Most webmasters are aware of the significance of using distinct title tags. They are less familiar with duplicate meta data issues that involve duplicating meta descriptions. Your audience’s reaction to your site will be affected by duplicate meta descriptions, but the answer may surprise you when it comes to search engines.
What to do when unique URLs have duplicate meta descriptions
When creating your website, you should avoid using duplicate page titles (meta titles) because search engines penalize pages with a high volume of duplicate content and meta titles. But what about meta descriptions?
If you think your unique URLs have duplicate meta descriptions you should:
- Audit your website to note pages with duplicate meta descriptions.
- The meta descriptions should be changed to differentiate between the duplicate pages.
- If you are using a canonical URL and there are duplicate meta descriptions, indicate to search engines which page they should be indexing. Then to all but one page, set the noindex Meta tag.
Meta description best practices
Consider the following guidelines as you create meta descriptions moving forward:
- A good target length for meta descriptions is 300 characters.
- Duplicate meta descriptions should only be considered under certain conditions, and even then, only on a handful of pages at most.
- If you cannot come up with a meta description, it is safest to leave it blank. If you have developed an excellent page that would otherwise rank well, Google will usually generate a description automatically.
- In your meta description, provide an explanation of the page that compels readers to visit your website.
- Seek expert assistance with meta tag creation if needed since it can negatively impact SEO.
When you follow the meta description best practices you shouldn’t have to worry about duplicate issues because each description will be unique and optimized.