Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 23.20.223.88

Message Too Old, No Replies

Duplicate meta descriptions in WMT - what is an allowable number?

     
12:46 am on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I seem to be having issues with WMT reporting for duplicate meta descriptions, short meta descriptions and duplicate title tags.

Can we hear from your experience what are reasonable numbers, what would make you adjust your meta tags and what you would consider as "safe"? Is there a formula for this?

For example if you have 1000 pages in total and WMT reports 100 of them to be short meta description would this alarm you or would you ignore it?

Thanks in advance.

5:26 am on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



When you say "allowable" - what's the "or else" you are concerned about?

The warning is telling you that those urls may not be well indexed, may not rank as well as they could, may not show a particularly helpful snippet, or may be a sign of a canonical problem on your site. If any of those issues matter in your cases, I'd suggest fixing things, no matter what the numbers are.

1:40 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



my "or else" theory would be for example:

If 10% of your pages are reported as short meta descriptions your entire site falls into -20 penalty/filter

If 20% of your pages are reported as short meta descriptions your entire site falls into -50 penalty/filter

and so on.

3:29 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



For example if you have 1000 pages in total and WMT reports 100 of them to be short meta description would this alarm you or would you ignore it?

I had that scenario quite a number of months ago and I fixed every last one of them.

3:57 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



icedowl, are you saying you got all your numbers to zero? How many pages in total does your site have? Also, would a zero be considered site being too clean or overoptimized?
4:31 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Yes, I got all of them down to zero. That site has just under 900 pages currently. It did take quite a bit of time to accomplish.

I rewrote the meta descriptions to be similar to descriptions that one would find on a restaurant menu. They describe their offerings, helping you to decide what to have to eat and I thought it was a good approach.

Too clean or overoptimized? I have no idea.

I do know that the competition for that site has little to no useful text as their descriptions for their pages so I do think it has helped in getting the visitors attention.

4:38 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



The annoying thing about WMT and dupe meta reporting is the false positives -- I've seen them start complaining about pages that were 301ed 2 years ago.

Never let any reporting slide though; even if you have to hire up just to check out the issues, do it. Otherwise, a simple dif script should be able to tell you if an issue truly exists, before WMT knows about it.

5:48 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Is no meta descriptions better than duplicate meta descriptions?
6:06 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



sandboxsam, good question. I would like to find out as well if removing them is a good idea. We have a lot of dynamic pages and it is very hard to do a good job on meta descriptions.
6:25 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I am seeing pages reported as "short meta description" dropping out of Google's index some 3 to 4 weeks after they are flagged in WMT if the "errors" have not been fixed in that time.

These are on sites that have little text content, content is mostly images with short descriptions. Pages do have unique title tag and on-page headings.

7:32 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



my "or else" theory would be for example:

If 10% of your pages are reported as short meta descriptions your entire site falls into -20 penalty/filter

If 20% of your pages are reported as short meta descriptions your entire site falls into -50 penalty/filter

No, nothing like that. A true "duplicate penalty" against all the rankings of an entire website is extremely rare, and pretty much reserved for the serious autogenerated spam. See the thread Duplicate Content demystified [webmasterworld.com] - it's in the Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page.

10:17 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



thank you for your clarification tedster
 

Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month