Duplicate errors

In my Google webmaster tools we are suddenly getting duplicates any ideas what is causing it please?

HTML Improvements
Last updated 7 Oct 2018
Addressing the following may help the user experience and performance of your site.

Meta description Pages
Duplicate meta descriptions 57
Long meta descriptions 0
Short meta descriptions 18
Title tag Pages
Missing title tags 0
Duplicate title tags 78
Long title tags 0
Short title tags 0
Non-informative title tags 0
Non-indexable content Pages
We didn't detect any issues with non-indexable content on your site.

  • John

    Examples 1 Adam

    Pages with duplicate meta descriptions Pages
    Desperately Seeking Motorhomes an article about looking for good used motorhomes and campervans with
    /battle-of-the-brands/
    /desperately-seeking-motorhomes/
    2
    BC Motorhomes are leading motorhomes dealers selling and servicing new and used motorhomes and renti
    /auto-sleeper-motorhome-dealers/bc-motorhomes/
    /trigano-group/auto-sleeper-motorhomes-campervans/auto-sleeper-motorhome-dealers/bc-motorhomes/
    2
    Urbano Motorhomes Belgium are a motorhome dealer in Belguim selling new and used motorhomes as well
    /motorhomes-campervans-portal/cars/urbano-motorhomes-belgium/
    /urbano-motorhomes-belgium/

  • John

    Example 2

    Pages with duplicate title tags Pages
    Privacy Policy 2018 Designed For motorhomes campervans net
    /contact-motorhomes-campervans/gdpr-general-data-protection-regulation/privacy-policy-2018/
    /privacy-policy-2018/
    2
    Derby Motorhomes Sales New Used Autosleeper Dealers Derby
    /motorhomes-campervans-portal/trigano-group/auto-sleeper-motorhomes-campervans/auto-sleeper-motorhome-dealers/derby-motorhomes/
    /trigano-group/auto-sleeper-motorhomes-campervans/auto-sleeper-motorhome-dealers/derby-motorhomes/
    2
    Urbano Motorhomes Belgium Motorhome Dealers Selling Renting
    /motorhomes-campervans-portal/cars/urbano-motorhomes-belgium/
    /urbano-motorhomes-belgium/

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hi John

    Thanks for response!

    I checked the links that you shared and I think it's not that "bad" as it may seem. There's a couple of different issues to sort out though:

    1. These two and posts in general:

    Pages with duplicate meta descriptions Pages
    Desperately Seeking Motorhomes an article about looking for good used motorhomes and campervans with
    /battle-of-the-brands/
    /desperately-seeking-motorhomes/

    First important thing to note it that in SmartCrawl settings for "Posts" you got Titles&Meta defined as "fixed", static text with no macros at all. This means that the very same title and meta will be used for all posts (posts, not pages and other custom post types) across entire site unless they are overwritten in "on page" SEO box.

    The way to "permanently solve' this is to edit SmarCrawl "Title&Meta" settings for posts, adding some macro there so they'd be either fully dynamically created or at least contain the "dynamic part". You'd also have to actually edit an "on page" SEO (edit meta on post edit screen) for those duplicated ones as they currently do have the very same info added there.

    2.
    2

    BC Motorhomes are leading motorhomes dealers selling and servicing new and used motorhomes and renti
    /auto-sleeper-motorhome-dealers/bc-motorhomes/
    /trigano-group/auto-sleeper-motorhomes-campervans/auto-sleeper-motorhome-dealers/bc-motorhomes/
    2
    Urbano Motorhomes Belgium are a motorhome dealer in Belguim selling new and used motorhomes as well
    /motorhomes-campervans-portal/cars/urbano-motorhomes-belgium/
    /urbano-motorhomes-belgium/

    There are redirects, it looks like both these URLs are pointing to the same page in the end. I'm not sure how these redirects were created but they are 301 redirects so that's fine. I'm not sure how long ago such a redirect was set and when for the last time these particular pages were indexed but if there's a 301 (permanent) redirect, Google should eventually re-index these URLs and learn where/which is the right one. This might take time though.

    3.

    Pages with duplicate title tags Pages
    Privacy Policy 2018 Designed For motorhomes campervans net
    /contact-motorhomes-campervans/gdpr-general-data-protection-regulation/privacy-policy-2018/
    /privacy-policy-2018/
    2
    Derby Motorhomes Sales New Used Autosleeper Dealers Derby
    /motorhomes-campervans-portal/trigano-group/auto-sleeper-motorhomes-campervans/auto-sleeper-motorhome-dealers/derby-motorhomes/
    /trigano-group/auto-sleeper-motorhomes-campervans/auto-sleeper-motorhome-dealers/derby-motorhomes/
    2
    Urbano Motorhomes Belgium Motorhome Dealers Selling Renting
    /motorhomes-campervans-portal/cars/urbano-motorhomes-belgium/
    /urbano-motorhomes-belgium/

    You got URLs here that doesn't exist, yet they must be still indexed. That would mean that they existed before. Google will still keep them in the index for some time so if it detects now pages (even if it's the same page that's just been moved to another URL) with the same titles it will also report that issue. Those non-existing pages must have been there in the past and must have been removed so basically that's again a case of Google having to remove them from index or to re-index them (if you set a 301 redirect for those non-existing URLs).

    To sum it up, except for the 1st point above, my suggestion here would be to make sure that all the redirects that are there are 301, add 301 redirects for non-existing URLs to relevant existing URLs (where possible) and then re-create a sitemap and re-submit it to Google, then just wait for the Google crawlers to "clean up" the search index. Unfortunately, this might take time and it's not possible to predict how long it will be - it can take anything from just a couple of days to a couple of months even. It's Google, you never know :slight_smile:

    The good news is, that these particular issues (except point 1 above which is relatively easy to fix) shouldn't affect your SEO in any noticeable way as "301" redirects are perfectly proper and valid "SEO redirects" and "404 Not Found" pages are also absolutely normal and acceptable.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • John

    Adam, thank you so much for the in depth reply, could you just fix as you see fit as it looks a bit beyond me? That would really help us as I am not sure how some of this has come about

    A few problems back all seemed to be OK, however, we have had to clean up tags and categories as well as parent in pages

    That may well have been the problem other than adding one plugin for languages by Google we had people in Poland and Italy not fully understanding what we are trying to do

    Any news on the other link issues? I changed a setting in smart crawl that only allows one link to appear on a page, this stopped where a page sees the redirect instruction and does them all if they exist on the same page as well as the URL title

    Thanks again John

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hi John

    Adam, thank you so much for the in depth reply, could you just fix as you see fit as it looks a bit beyond me? That would really help us as I am not sure how some of this has come about

    To be perfectly honest, it would be best if you do this yourself. I don't know the site that well and, especially that you did some "clean up" recently, I could easily add up some unnecessary "mess" up there that could affect SEO in a "not exactly expected" way.

    But all in all, it shouldn't be that difficult and I'm pretty sure you are able to handle that:

    1. Redirects
    That can be set with SmartCrawl. All you need to do is to go to "SmartCrawl -> Advanced Tools -> URL Redirects" and add some additional redirect rules there, from those not-existing sites to existing ones. I would suggest to use "301" instead of "302" type of redirect in these cases

    2. Sitemap regeneraton

    Just go to the Dashboard ("Dashboard -> Home" page in site's back-end) and in "Sitemaps -SmartCrawl" section you got "Update sitemap" link; use it to re-generate/update sitemap

    3. Report sitemap to Google and wait

    This I couldn't do as I don't even have any access there. Basically, you just need to go to webmaster tools, remove the sitemap there and submit the same sitemap again. Then, unfortunately, just wait. Though I'm not sure for how long :slight_frown:

    As for that auto-linking thing. Let's please keep it separate from here but so far I can tell that my colleagues are working on this. We've been testing some scenarios (I can tell first hand because I was involved in testing) and had trouble to replicate that at first then found some inconsistencies that we still need to identify. Our developers are looking into it now. We'll let you know in that other ticket as soon as we get to know more.

    Best regards
    Adam

  • John

    Adam Hi this is the bit i don't quite understand

    First important thing to note it that in SmartCrawl settings for "Posts" you got Titles&Meta defined as "fixed", static text with no macros at all. This means that the very same title and meta will be used for all posts (posts, not pages and other custom post types) across entire site unless they are overwritten in "on page" SEO box.

    The way to "permanently solve' this is to edit SmarCrawl "Title&Meta" settings for posts, adding some macro there so they'd be either fully dynamically created or at least contain the "dynamic part". You'd also have to actually edit an "on page" SEO (edit meta on post edit screen) for those duplicated ones as they currently do have the very same info added there.

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hi John

    If you go to "SmartCrawl -> Title & Matea -> Post Types", the first "post type" on the list is "Posts" section. This is a section that addresses your site's posts (those that you add in back-end via "Posts -> Add new":wink:.

    If you look at the "Post Title" and "Post Meta Description" fields' values there, you'll notice that it's some specific, "fixed" text. This means that if nothing is configured in "onpage seo" (this is the "Seo" box under the content editor on posts/pages edit screen), that "fixed text" will be used. The same one - the same title and description - for each and every of your posts.

    So, "adding macros" means going to "SmartCrawl -> Titles & Meta -> Post types page and putting into the "Post Title" and "Post Meta Description" fields in "Posts" section some "placeholders" like e.g. %%title%% or %%sitename%%

    They'll be dynamically replaced with appropriate data "on the fly", making titles and descriptions unique. You will find a list of available macros for both these fields after clicking + icon in each of the fields:

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • John

    Hi Adam
    I have taken out the first two descriptions and selected simple macros as suggested

    What should the open graph and twitter card have? They have fixed text as before

    Also I notice on all the dropdowns there are index and non follow they are not set? Should they be?

    What about archive and taxonomies ? I notice a lot of text in one field not sure where its coming from

    Thanks again John

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hi John

    The Open Graph and Twitter cards - it would be best if they used some of the avialable macros as well. Otherwise they will also use the very same title and description when you (or some visitor) shares any of your posts (unless that's what you want). That's less "critical" though as it shouldn't affect your Google rankings. It might, however, affect how many people click through the shared posts on social media :slight_smile:

    By the way: you don't necessarily have to use macros only, you can actually mix "fixed" text and macros if you want in order to further customize those titles and descriptions :slight_smile:

    As for archives and taxonomies. I can see that long text as well. That's because a %%tag_description%% macro that's used there for description field is fetching description text from an actual tag description. If you go to "Posts -> Tags" page you will see how long these descriptions are. They should be much shorter for Google search results but on the other hand, if the most important information are given at the beginning that should be fine - long description will automatically be "cut down" to an acceptable length. Ideally though, I would suggest editing those tag descriptions (on "Posts -> Tags" page) to be shorter and more "essential" - if they could fit within around 110-130 characters limit which is just enough to suit both mobile and desktop search engine results presentation. But it's not a hard limit :slight_smile:

    As for "no follow and noindex" - I'd keep them disabled. Enabling "no follow" option would mean that a specific page would be indexed by Google but search engine crawlers would not "follow the links on it" and "noindex" would mean that a given page would not be indexed at all.

    Best regards,
    Adam

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