1

I'm getting duplicate meta description errors in Google Search Console on the categories of my blog. As new posts are added and cap the amount of posts per page, a new page is created (Global Marketing Page 1, 2, 3...so on).

Does it make sense to put rel=canonical tags on these pages, even if they have different content per page? (Website on WordPress)

Thanks!

  • Are you using Word Press? – Simon Hayter Apr 25 '17 at 16:01
  • Yes. Sorry, should have specified in my post. – James Randolph Apr 25 '17 at 17:20
3

Canonical links will help for page content but they do not help against duplicate titles and meta descriptions. WordPress is notorious for adding duplicate titles and meta descriptions whenever using Pagination.

Google Search Console will nag about this until you make your titles and descriptions unique. You need not write a whole new description or title but simply add a page number as a suffix or prefix.

This can easily be done by using Yoast SEO for WordPress which has a big range of other SEO benefits. Once you install this plugin you simply find the blog page and edit the description/title and add one of Yoasts variables to it.

For example the BYBE blog uses:

  • Title: The %%sitename%% Blog about Web Design and SEO %%page%%
    • Renders as: The BYBE Blog about Web Design and SEO - Page 2 of 5
  • Desc: Visit the BYBE blog %%page%%. Articles about web design, SEO, graphic design and content management systems such as WordPress.
    • Renders as: Visit the BYBE blog - Page 2 of 5. Articles about web design, SEO, graphic design and content management systems such as WordPress.

Viewing the source you can see many other benefits such as previous and next, twitter cards and Open Graph.

There are many varibles that you can customise your titles and descriptions, including:

  • %%date%% ~ Replaced with the date of the post/page
  • %%title%% ~ Replaced with the title of the post/page
  • %%parent_title%% ~ Replaced with the title of the parent page of the current page
  • %%sitename%% ~ The site's name
  • %%sitedesc%% ~ The site's tagline / description
  • %%excerpt%% ~ Replaced with the post/page excerpt (or auto-generated if it does not exist)
  • %%excerpt_only%% ~ Replaced with the post/page excerpt (without auto-generation)
  • %%tag%% ~ Replaced with the current tag/tags
  • %%category%% ~ Replaced with the post categories (comma separated)
  • %%primary_category%% ~ Replaced with the primary category of the post/page
  • %%category_description%% ~ Replaced with the category description
  • %%tag_description%% ~ Replaced with the tag description
  • %%term_description%% ~ Replaced with the term description
  • %%term_title%% ~ Replaced with the term name
  • %%searchphrase%% ~ Replaced with the current search phrase
  • %%sep%% ~ The separator defined in your theme's wp_title() tag.

However should you not want to use a plugin then you would need to edit your functions file, there is various ways this can be done but here's one method on WordPress Stack

SOURCE

To add a page number regardless to any plugin … use filters. Do not change the plugin file. You cannot run updates other wise.

Example:

<?php # -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
/**
 * Plugin Name: T5 Add page number to title
 * Description: Adds <code> | Page $number</code> to the page title.
 * License:     MIT
 * License URI: http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php
 */

if ( ! function_exists( 't5_add_page_number' ) )
{
  function t5_add_page_number( $s )
  {
      global $page;
      $paged = get_query_var( 'paged' ) ? get_query_var( 'paged' ) : 1;
      ! empty ( $page ) && 1 < $page && $paged = $page;

      $paged > 1 && $s .= ' | ' . sprintf( __( 'Page: %s' ), $paged );

      return $s;
  }

  add_filter( 'wp_title', 't5_add_page_number', 100, 1 );
  add_filter( 'wpseo_metadesc', 't5_add_page_number', 100, 1 );
}

Please note that any WordPress development related questions should be asked on the WordPress stack. I've only added this as an example.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Thank you @Simon that was just what I needed – Trebor Feb 23 '19 at 16:18

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