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Monday, June 01, 2015

Label Search Pages, And Multiple Meta Descriptions

Occasionally, Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, we see concern about another search efficiency report.
I'm getting a report mentioning
Multiple meta descriptions found for the page
What do I do?
Similar to the long known panic about blocked label search indexing, this is more confusion about label searches.

If you spend time adding search description meta tags, to new and previously published pages and posts in a blog, eventually you will have some posts with search descriptions, and with a common label. A label search page, for a label containing multiple posts each of which have a search description, is going to have multiple search descriptions.

A page, with multiple search description meta tags, can be a problem - when the page is indexed.

It's best to have only one search description meta tag on any page.
Search description meta tags are added, by a blog owner, so each page or post can be properly described to a potential reader, when it appears in a search hit list (aka "SERP"). If you have a dynamic page with multiple meta tags, which meta tag would you use in the SERP entry?

To help website owners avoid this sort of ambiguity, one Webmaster Tools (Search Console) utility is the "Duplicate Meta Tags" report. The report lists all website pages with multiple meta tags.

A label search page may have multiple posts, each with a search description.
With Blogger blogs, the report may list label searches, when multiple posts with search descriptions appear under one label. This will happen, even though label searches are not indexed by the search engines. And there is the confusion.

Not all blog owners understand the reason behind the label search "access denied" report entries. As search descriptions meta tags are used in more blogs, the label search "duplicate meta tags" report entries will become more common, too.

Blog owners have to learn to ignore the "duplicate" meta tags, for label searches.
Blog owners simply have to become more aware of which Search Console reports offer useful details about blog health - and which reports offer only confusion and FUD.

If you are examining the reports for your blog, and you see an entry
Multiple meta descriptions found for the page
look closely at the page description. If you see
... /search/label/ ...
don't worry about that page. That is a label search - and label searches, on most blogs, are not indexed in searches. Get back to work, on the blog.

Dude, hit me with a comment!