Google Webmaster Tools Collecting Incorrect URLs In Duplicate Title Tags Section

Jul 8, 2008 • 8:02 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A WebmasterWorld thread is reporting either a somewhat widespread glitch in Google Webmaster Tools or some sites that are having issues. I am personally able to validate the issues, so let me show them to you.

I logged into Google Webmaster Tools, clicked on "Diagnostics" and then on "Content analysis" and then selected the "Duplicate title tags" report. I then clicked on the plus sign on one of those results, specifically a conference coverage session that we covered at least three times under the same title. Here it is:

Google Duplicate Title Tags Bug

So, they all show different URLs, i.e. /archives/000161.html‎, ‎/archives/001078.html‎ and ‎/archives/013900.html‎, but when you click on any of them, they all go to the /archives/000161.html‎ version. So, I took a peak behind the HTML in webmaster tools to see, yes, Google is indeed linking every page to the first URL.

  • <a href='' target='_blank'>‎/archives/000161.html‎</a>
  • <a href='' target='_blank'>‎/archives/001078.html‎</a>
  • <a href='' target='_blank'>‎/archives/013900.html‎</a>

But why? Is this a bug or does Google really take the liberty to redirect them as duplicate pages to the first page? No!

A search for Search Term Research & Targeting returns two results at the top from the Search Engine Roundtable. Here is a screen capture:

Google Webmaster Tools Bug

Notice, the /archives/000161.html‎ version isn't even listed in this version. If I expand the results, to show all results from the Search Engine Roundtable, then it will show a total of four results (not three) and it will include the /archives/000161.html‎ result.

So, it seems like a reporting issue in Google Webmaster Tools and I would not worry that your site has major issues.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Jonathan Simon

07/08/2008 09:14 pm

The pages being reported in Webmaster Tool's Duplicate Title tag section are correctly being flagged as containing duplicate title tags. However, as your post outlines the pages are displayed as URLs with underlying links which all incorrectly point to the first page listed for a given duplicated title tag. This issue should be resolved soon but in the mean time everyone can use the "Download this table" link to view a spreadsheet containing the duplicate title data in a format that is not impacted by this issue.

Barry Schwartz

07/08/2008 09:18 pm

Thanks Jonathan!


10/04/2008 04:42 am

I realize this was posted a bit ago. I am having the exact same issue to a T that you have showed and described on webmaster tools. I have even tried to change somethings to see if it helps, but no. it's not all my post, but several and my duplicate tags are climbing still and I don't know how to stop it. I even tried doing some posts with no labels thinking that was it. It will even have my comments for some posts as duplicate title tags. What do I do????


11/25/2008 03:14 pm

I'm getting duplicate title tags. Not sure how to stop this. I changed my categories to "capitals" and google is still recognizing "lowercase" categories! They were increasing daily a few months ago but they dropped down to zero (phew!).... but now they've started increasing again even though nothing has been done! Help!


01/17/2009 07:03 pm

I'm getting this error too and it's got me searching the net all day for a resolve, to no avail. Do I need to worry or should I ignore and leave my archive list as is?


05/10/2009 10:09 pm

I am facing the same problem of duplicate meta tags and title ..?? wht to do?

Kartik Anirudh

07/05/2011 06:53 pm

Even me to have the same problem. Is this happening because editing of blogs? I do edit my blog posts.

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