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Multiple Meta Description Tags In Wordpress

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#1 Lorelle


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Posted 26 August 2011 - 01:04 PM

My client has a Wordpress site with the Platinum SEO pack installed, and we have customized the titles and meta descriptions of every key page. The problem is, WP automatically puts in a meta description. I know that the meta description tag has nothing to do with ranking, but we're hoping the engines will use its marketing message as the snippet in search results.

The first meta description tag, the one generated by WP, is actually the same as Title. Does the second tag, which I so painstakingly crafted with keyword phrases and entered into the Platinum SEO description field, get skipped? Just how do the search engines treat repeat meta tags?

#2 Jill


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Posted 26 August 2011 - 01:10 PM

Don't know, but I'd go in and edit the templates to remove the description you don't want. It shouldn't be too hard.

#3 Michael Martinez

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 04:07 PM

It's not Wordpress that is embedding automatic meta descriptions. Either the theme or the SEO plugin is doing it.

You CAN set meta descriptions through Wordpress but you have to activate the "custom field" feature on the post input form. It's not automatic.

#4 Lorelle


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Posted 29 August 2011 - 12:21 PM

Thanks for the replies! I found that by removing the "Tagline" wording that was in Settings, it now produces an empty tag: <meta name="description" content="" />

So it doesn't appear that the Platinum SEO pack can do anything but add a 2nd tag.

And it's not right after the 1st tag -- it's 31 lines of code later.

I'm still trying to ascertain how much of a problem it is having 2 description meta tags, and hoping if it is, it won't require any radical changes. (I don't know how to activate the "custom field" feature on the post input form. This website is mainly pages, not posts.)

Anyone know whether the first desc meta is the only one the search engine reads? Surely someone must have tested this along the way... I know, don't call you Shirley. mf_tongue.gif

Edited by Lorelle, 29 August 2011 - 12:54 PM.

#5 Jill


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Posted 29 August 2011 - 03:25 PM

You don't want two meta description tags. It can't be too difficult to remove one. Try another SEO plug in such as the one called "SEO Title Tag."
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#6 torka


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Posted 29 August 2011 - 08:50 PM

Or edit the theme to remove the code generating a description meta that's duplicating the title tag. I'd be willing to be it's the theme that's doing that. You'll probably find it in the header.php file. If you don't want to edit the theme directly, you could look into setting up a child theme (info: http://codex.wordpre...rg/Child_Themes)

If you're going to be using an SEO plugin (of any kind) that allows you to add a custom meta description, you don't want the theme to also be adding a meta description.

--Torka mf_prop.gif

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