So I finally ran screaming frog SEO spider on a number of my pages, and what I'm left with now are some duplicate titles on some of my mobile pages containing this HTML:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/path/to/equivalentpage.htm"> 

On the respective pages for desktop users, I added a link tag showing the mobile equivalent page to show google the relationship.

On my desktop pages, my H1 tags on each page are unique. Some pages no longer have an H2 tag since I had to blend it into the H1 tag and screaming frog spider takes note of duplicate H2 tags.

My question is for any two pages that contain rel="canonical" pointing to the original unique pages, do I have to worry about unique titles (in H1 tag) on them? or do I only have to worry on pages without rel="canonical"

I ask because if making the titles unique on the pages (mobile site pages) with rel="canonical" are necessary, then users will have a worse experience since the title will take up a huge part of the above-the-fold real estate on my website, especially on the photo pages where the user's prime interest is the photo.

  • 1
    Those frogs can get kinda loud can't they?? I take Screaming Frog and SEO PowerSuite with a fair amount of salt. I suspect that since these are your mobile pages, you are okay. I am not sure that SF knows the difference.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 2:33
  • I'm more concerned about what adsense thinks. I use screaming frog and power mapper tools to help my pages comply with standards more Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 3:42
  • I use the two tools I mentioned earlier for the same reason. Plus, they are just plain good for auditing. I am not sure Adsense cares except for what the page is about conceptually. For that, I am sure that Adsense uses the semantics analysis mostly derived from googlebot. I have seen Adsense spider a few pages, but not too many as compared to how many I have. In fact, hardly at all!
    – closetnoc
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 3:53

3 Answers 3


H1 on mobile pages should better exactly same as titles and h1 on their desktop counterparts.

In fact mobile pages are marked up as canonical to send signal to Google, they have pretty same content as desktop pages, but for another devices.

Indeed, the content on mobile pages COULD be slightly different, as on desktop pages, but this difference should lie primarily in the content length (mobile textual content is shorter as desktop), in amount and size of images. But title, h1, h2, and, imho, first and second paragraphs should be same.


They have to be equivalent, not necessarily identical. Just don't get too crazy with the differences between the two pages.

Google's John Mueller says...

If these pages are equivalent, even if they're not 100% identical, I'd use a rel=canonical here. With that, all of the signals (such as links to those pages) that we have for the "set" of URLs will be combined in your preferred version. Using a noindex on the other hand would result in only one page being indexed, with all the other pages from that set - and any associated signals we might have - dropping out.

That said, I'd avoid it if possible just to be safe. Perhaps there's a more elegant solution (e.g. make the h1 smaller on mobile?)


The basic gist of it is Google will recognise the first instance of the tag. The first h1 will be the one to rank your page on.

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