Solution for Duplicate Title Tags Problem in Wordpress
Recently, I have found that my Google webmaster tools showing me HTML suggestions for duplicate title tags for my Wordpress blog. As far as I am concerned I never created any duplicate content. Normally, this warning comes when you create several pages with same title. But in my case the problem was that my blog title was indexed with several pages, tags and categories such as:
Myblog.com/category/web/name of the page
The first simple solution to this problem is to install the” all in one SEO plugin” for wordpress and then select the following items”
Use non-index for categories
Use non-index for achieves
Use non-index for tag archives
Please remember that this plugin may create another error in the webmaster tool for your images.In my case the problem was short meta description of my images.What I did was that I have selected the option of "redirect attachment URLs to parent post URL" in the Permalink Settings option of the Yoast SEO. Normally, for images you do not need any meta description for SEO purposes-you just need to set the ALT and TITLE attributes.
Another very good plugin that may give similar type of solution to your title tag problem is that Yoast SEO plugin.I suggest you try the both and whichever you find comfortable to work with, just stick with that one.
Note: Canonical URLs means that if a number of pages generate similar type of contents or if your posts appear for multiple categories or tags. For instance, your dynamic page may generate a list of contents for the tags “web” and another page can generate the list of contents tagged with “web” published by a specific author or by a specific date. In that case, Google might consider your pages as duplicate content and penalize you in the SERP.
If you find that you have duplicate title tags only for a few posts, then you can fix that straight away by clicking on that post and edit the slug of that post.
How to know that canonical rel enforced by the plugin is working? when you install the plugin( let it be yoast seo plugin or anything else) you may be interested to see the evidence that the plugin has added the canonical rel to your pages. To see it for yourself, click on a page from the HTML suggestion of webmaster tools that has title tag problem, then that page and select the "view page source". Next, search for the word 'canonical' and if you see anthing like the give below, then you will know that the plugin is working and your site will get rid of duplicate title tag problem.
<link rel="canonical" href="http://yourwebsite.com/page/2/" />
The second method to solve the duplicate title tag issues is to use the robots.txt file. If you already have not upload one such file in your root directory of your web host then you can create one upload it there with FTP. For example you want Google not to crawl your category and tags, and then you can make your robots.txt with the followings:
The above statements will not allow Google bot to crawl and index the category and comments section of your blog. But what I think is that it is better to allow Google to crawl you category but let them not to index those pages-thus you can avoid the problem of having duplicate title tags. And this solution is readily available for free with the plugin that I mention in the first solution to this problem.
When I faced this annoying duplicate title tag problem, I followed the first solution- used that SEO plugin with the recommended configuration (which I already mentioned) and then I renamed the category and tag that was creating the problem with me. Next, I logged in the Google webmaster tool and then click on “Fetch as Googlebot” under the diagnostic option. Then, I typed the URL of the category and clicked on the fetch button. When Googlebot fetched my URL then I submitted it to index using the submit option. When you submit your URL for indexing remember to select all the URL for that category because your all post under that category will be linked with that category URL which need to be re-indexed by Google in order to remove the duplicate title problems. Similarly, you can submit your tags for indexing. Finally, I made little changes to my blog title as well so as my entire blog appear clean to Google. I am hoping that after re-indexing my “all in one SEO plugin” will use the canonical URL to make all of my posts, tags and categories unique and I will be able to rank will in the SERP.
After making all the changes to solve your problem you need to wait a couple of days to even a few weeks to see that if your errors are gone. Webmaster tool may not show you for a few days that you title tags problems are gone because at times they use older data. I hope you liked my solution and I would love to hear about who you fixing this problem. You are always welcome to put your feedback in the comment box.
Rememeber that disallowing search engies to crawle your site is not a good idea since seach engines need to spend time reading your robots.txt files. It is always better to use to "no index" tags for pages with duplicate title tags.But, you can try to use the second method(using robots.txt file) to remove all your pages with duplicate tilte tags from search engines and when you find that the serch engines have removed all those pages from thier index, you can apply the no-index tag using Yoast or any other plugins to the pages that you consider not to show up in the search results.
Note:A site that can give you some clue about if your webpages have duplicate titles is http://www.linkexchangesystem.net/check_ttitles
For more inforamation you can also visit Google webmater central forum and post your question there or use their search box to search for solution to the duplicate title tags realated issues.