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Webmaster duplicate title tags

 10:35 am on Feb 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have a querystring on my home page which gets the id and forwards to the correct page. This is my tiny URL.

e.g. www.example.com?Id=777
And forwards to

This works fine.

However I notice in google webmaster it complains and says I have Duplicate Title Tags and lists

How do I fix this I was thinking I need rel canonical or something but I need to be sure as not to demote my SEO.

Thanks for any help.



 11:39 am on Feb 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

And forwards to

"forwards" is technically imprecise.
i assume you mean it either redirects or rewrites.


you have mentioned 3 different urls for one id here.
you need to pick one of those and make that the canonical url.
any requests for the non-canonical urls should be 301-redirected to the canonical url.

it looks like you have chosen www.example.com\mainpage?id=777 as the canonical url.
i would think long and hard before redirecting a short url to a longer url on the same hostname.
google has decided recently it know better than your server configuration what the canonical url is.
usually the shorter url is canonical but they aren't always right.

this thread and the linked threads would be interesting for you to read.
John Mueller: Google May Not Show the Redirect Target URL in SERPs - Google SEO News and Discussion forum:
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4646897.htm [webmasterworld.com]


 12:27 pm on Feb 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

So sorry about this but I made a mistake in my first post.

I only have 2 pages in which the home page redirects to the main page

e.g. www.example.com?id=777 redirects to www.example.com\mainpage.aspx?id=777

If the user loads up www.example.com it just displays my home page. It only redirects if the homepage querystring 'id' contains a valid number.

You are correct that I am redirecting a shorter URL to a longer URL, the reason I did this was because some of my pages were linked in using tinyurl and goo.gl and therefore not helping my seo. But are you saying I am better off removing the redirect tiny URL functionality on my home page altogether? If not which page do I place the rel canonical on?

Not sure if this is related but I also have setup on IIS the URL which goes to example.com is rerouted to www.example.com and if some enters my ip address this is also rerouted e.g. is rerouted to www.example.com/mainpage.aspx?id=777. I set up the second one (on the IP address) last week because I see google had my ip address for certain keywords Ė donít ask me how.

OT - I had the wrong generic tag on all my mainpage.aspx pages and only seen it 2 weeks ago so my website dynamically changes the title of mainpage.aspx to correctly reflect the page content and since then I have being demoted down to the 100 result and now I am trying to fix everything (google complain about) in order to get back to my top spot which took years. I thought by fixing the title on mainpage.aspx would improve my ranking on google search but no it has brought my traffic down by 70% since no one can find my site now on google search.

As you can see I am not good a SEO I just concentrated on coding but now I need to know SEO.

Thanks again for your response much appreciated.


 9:57 pm on Feb 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

As long as you're redirecting, why not redirect to something catchy and memorable like

the URL which goes to example.com is rerouted to www.example.com and if some enters my ip address this is also rerouted e.g. is rerouted to www.example.com/mainpage.aspx?id=777

I should hope so. No matter what type of server you've got, the concept is always "If the requested hostname is anything other than this exact form..."


 2:02 am on Feb 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

I only have 2 pages in which the home page redirects to the main page

e.g. www.example.com?id=777 redirects to www.example.com\mainpage.aspx?id=777

you should understand that http://www.example.com/ is your home page and http://www.example.com/?id=777 is a completely different url which also just happens to have the same protocol, hostname, and path as your home page.


 2:22 pm on Feb 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

Ok in that case I will remove the tiny url redirect functionality on my homepage and let uses use tinyurl and goo.gl to shorten the URL if they choose. Thanks to all for your input - much appreciated.


 2:08 am on Mar 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

What do people do for page titles of topics or categories that are multiple pages? GWT notes that I have over 2000 pages with duplicate page titles. Currently the page title of these type of pages is the Topic name followed by my website name. The only way I see to fix this would to add a page number to the page title like so:

Topic Name Page 2 - My Website Name

Is this really worth fixing or does Google not really care when these type of pages have duplicate page titles?


 2:31 am on Mar 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

They give 'quality warnings' in WMT for this so my guess is that it's important to them.

If you're talking about theming then this is a big can of worms. There have been far more knowledgeable people who have posted on this in the past, but this is my take:

On a system where you don't have control over the tags/categories then I tend to make tag pages 'noindex,follow', and for paginated pages off the main /blog/ or /news/ page make sure the db generates a title tag that reflects the pagination - near but not quite duplicate. The paginated pages are indexed, the tag pages are 'noindex' to avoid massive duplicate or near-duplicate content problems.

However, if I had the choice and could curate my own content and set one tag per article, then I'd have indexable tag pages and 'noindex' my pagination from the main /blog/ or /news/ page. That way Google discovers my content via themed pages.

Note: in my view, this approach only works if you allow one (or at most two) tags per article.

Hope this makes sense.


 2:43 am on Mar 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

Seems like page number would be more useful than website name. I mean, people already know they're on your site...

I suspect "duplicate title" (and also "duplicate description") is more of a heads-up for potential duplicate content. "Well, of course they have the same title, they're the same page."


 4:52 am on Mar 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

The topic pages contains the first paragraph or so of our articles from our blog. You click on the title of the article and that take you to the full article which has a canonical link.

I have wondered before about duplicate content issues (and duplicate page titles). My site was hit by penguin a year and a half ago and is suffering a slow death. My Homepage also shows summary's of articles as well but it does have other unique content.

The thing is when I check other popular sites that post articles (game sites, magazine sites, etc..) a lot of them use the same page titles for their topics that have multiple pages and none of them have set noindex on these "topic" pages.

I hate to set these topic pages as noindex and I thought that the canonical link was suppose to solve this issue.

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