How do I remove the duplicate meta tags and descriptions found in the HTML Improvements tab on GWT?

The issues reported are because some people were linking to us with spaces or dashes in the URLs instead of "+" or also without the trailing slash.

I have fixed these issues by permanently redirecting the errant URLs which can be proved with the Fetch as Google, but these issues are still appearing as issues on GWT: why are they still there? and how can I remove them (there is no Mark as Fixed)?

Correct: http://digiguide.tv/pick-of-the-day/26+August+2008/documentary-dont-tell-the-bride-laila-and-nick-is-this-what-lalia-really-wants-on-her-big-day/

Broken: http://digiguide.tv/pick-of-the-day/26-August-2008/documentary-dont-tell-the-bride-laila-and-nick-is-this-what-lalia-really-wants-on-her-big-day/

3 Answers 3


If they have been fixed then it is just a matter of time before Google recrawls the urls, sees the changes and then updates webmaster tools information. Though, I would give it at least a couple a weeks to update as the HTML improvements section is not live data.

  • Its been several months and no change, I will try re-submitting the errant pages to be indexed by ensuring the sitemap entries have a more recent 'updated' date
    – Dan
    Jul 24, 2013 at 13:15
  • It can take months too, see here > productforums.google.com/d/msg/webmasters/oKwoeGBZwWo/…
    – user29671
    Jul 24, 2013 at 13:20
  • Yes but the old/broken URL wasnt something from our site, so it may never get re-indexed and thus will never see the 301 and will stay as a broken URL forever ... this is also an issue more now than before as Panda would see the site in a negative light as duplicate content is frowned upon. The only thing I can think off is to add all those bad (now redirected) URLS to my sitemap so they can be indexed and fixed.
    – Dan
    Jul 24, 2013 at 13:47

It is true that given time Google will recrawl and reindex your site and these notifications will go away naturally.

If you wish to speed up the process you can submit removal requests for the errant URL pages. This would also help ensure only your preferred URL shows up in the search engine results pages. To submit the page removal request go into Google Webmaster Tools and click on the left hand menu Google Index >>Remove URLs.

I would also recommend that you use the canonical tags on all of your pages; this would mean that if in future someone links to you as the examples have shown or with query parameters, the link equity should be unified on your preferred URL, rather than having multiple versions of the page indexed and receiving duplicate content warnings. The 301s you have implemented are the better long term solution, however, also using a canonical on the page will help you cover your bases against other unforseen link variations in the future.

  • I dont get how submitting a removal request for a url will speed up the refresh of HTML improvements. All the removal tool does is hide the url in search results, normal crawling and processing still applies.
    – user29671
    Jul 24, 2013 at 10:27
  • The issue is that there have been multiple versions of the same page indexed by GWMTs, as this is a duplicate content issue, specifying to Google which the duplicate content is and having it removed will remove the duplicate content notifications as well as Google would remove this content from their search results. As the content has also been 301'ed it would mean it wouldn't be crawlable again and therefore it is a quicker solution Jul 24, 2013 at 10:40
  • The content has been 301'd, but google wouldnt know that until it attempted to recrawl. Again, the removal tool just removes from search results and normal crawling and processing applies to urls which have been 'removed'. Also see here : "When NOT to use the URL removal tool" support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1269119?hl=en
    – user29671
    Jul 24, 2013 at 10:55
  • So I guess attempting to force it to recrawl by making the last updated date of the URL in the sitemap current may help then
    – Dan
    Jul 24, 2013 at 13:16

I think it is due to unoptimised URL of your site. look at the google operator

/ path delimiter  
: port
? query  
& glue get params  
= param=val  
\# link anchor  
+ space

When every someone copy and past your link on his website. then his CMS perform his default task and replace all + sign with - sign.

  • Please do not use this site to promote yours.
    – John Conde
    Oct 6, 2017 at 17:38

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