Google Webmaster Tools Collecting Incorrect URLs In Duplicate Title Tags Section

Jul 8, 2008 • 8:02 am | comments (7) by | 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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