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Google on Handling Extra Meta Descriptions and Title Tags

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Google’s Senior Webmaster Analyst, John Mueller, has recently explained how Google handles extra HTML elements, during the Google Webmaster Central Hangout.

Mueller says that Google can handle two titles and meta descriptions, but publishers should follow the standard practice of writing a single meta description and title tag per page.

Here is the question posed by the publisher

Concerning the meta description of the page, I got the SEO tip to include a second meta description and title concerning this topic into the header.

Would this really make sense to Google?

John Mueller’s Response

So, if you’re including a second meta description tag on a page we will treat that the same as if you just extend the existing meta tag on the page.

…there’s no kind of bonus to using a second meta description tag on a page compared to just adjusting your existing one.

With regard to the title, that’s the same thing. It’s not that there’s any kind of a bonus attached to making a second title tag.

Essentially, you might as well just write a clear new title using the existing title tag.

Take a look at John Mueller’s statement on handling extra meta descriptions and title tags.

Takeaway

  1. Google treats double HTML elements as a single element, and how Google will choose to display the extra tags is up to Google.
  2. Mueller said publishers should write a single meta description and title tag per page, which is one of the standard on-page SEO practices.
  3. Extra HTML elements break the official HTML standards and generate invalid HTML.
  4. A valid HTML document or an HTML document with minimum errors helps to make sure that the web document is displayed to the site visitors the way you want it to be.
  5. Publishers should obey good coding practices for better user experience and correct web page crawling.

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