Webmaster Tools based Optimization Part 2 – HTML Suggestions

In the first part of this article series you read about Google Webmaster tools keyword significance. Today, we are going to touch upon the Webmaster Tools HTML Suggestions topic and learn how to quickly turn your WordPress blog into a site that Google likes a lot.

One of the reasons why your site content doesn’t rank well in Google is due to poorly rendered HTML content via CMS (Content Management Systems) like WordPress. By poorly rendered, I meant not exactly badly formed HTML but something that cause Webmaster tools to report duplicate content without you even realizing it. Sites with duplicate content is often demoted by Google and let me explain how to fix it pretty easily.

Webmaster Tools HTML Suggestions

In order to check your blog’s HTML errors, you have to go to the Diagnostics -> HTML suggestions section in your Google Webmaster tools account. For most of the WordPress blogs, you will see a screen like the one given below.


Basically this page lists the summary of your duplicate content, ill-formed meta description and title tags. You have to use the information on this page (and hyper links there in) in order to:

  1. Fix any long or too short meta descriptions of your posts (Do it in your SEO plugin such as All-in-one SEO)
  2. Fix any long or short title tags, using either your SEO plugin or if you are not using one, the post or page title itself. Usually, there may not be any missing title tags in WordPress based blogs and hence no need to worry about that section
  3. Correct any non-indexable page if you have done so by mistake (i.e. robots meta with value noindex)
  4. Fix duplicate title tags and meta description – This is the most serious offense of all that can bring your search ranking down dramatically. Read below to learn how to fix it quickly and effectively

Webmaster tools duplicate title tags – How to fix?

When you click on the ‘Duplicate title tags‘ link from your ‘HTML suggestions’ page, it will take you to a page like the one given below (after expanding some ‘+’ links there in)


This page lists all duplicate titles that you typed in by mistake (for example ‘HostGator coupon code for December‘ which you repeated as a post tile for the month of December for say 2009 and 2010) and all unintended duplicate titles rendered by WordPress. For instance, in the above picture, for the post titled ‘Thesis Affiliate Woes & Common Problems with Affiliate Schemes‘ there are three duplicate pages due to the structural issue of WordPress threaded comments. However, there is an easy way to fix it.

1. Go to your Site Configuration -> Settings

2. Add new parameters such as ‘replytocom’, ‘postcomment’ and ‘comments’ (all of them underlined with red in the picture below) and set them to ‘Ignore’. This tells Google to stop indexing all sub comment pages (used for post, reply etc) and hence not count them as duplicate content.

3. Fixing this here via parameter handling will also take care of duplicate meta descriptions.


Note: The one in yellow (especially p) is set to ‘Don’t Ignore’ automatically. I am still experimenting with it. So is the case with the comment-page-1 etc. Comment pages are not exactly using any parameters and hence ‘Ignore’ won’t work on them. I am working on a mechanism to add robots meta ‘noindex’ to comment pages. Let me know, any of you have a solution for this, in the meantime


Majority of your duplicate content will be removed one time using appropriate ‘Parameter handling’ within your site’s Webmaster tools settings. Further, by having appropriate settings in your All-in-one SEO plugin, you can avoid more duplicates. E.g. You must have noindex on Categories, Archives and Tags Archives using this plugin settings.

I hope the second post in Webmaster Tools optimization series was interesting. Let me work on the next post in this series.

Part III: Increase Traffic using the Search Queries data

Happy SEO!


  1. Nihar :

    Really great post! I have seen this option in the webmaster and also fixed the long and short title or description. But, didn’t try to fix this.

    If I have will fix it.

    Waiting for the next on in this series….

  2. Hi Ajith,
    Nice article and useful tips to fine tune the blog. Keep the good work. Thanks for sharing.


  3. anbu :

    We didn’t detect any content issues with your site. As we crawl your site, we check it to detect any potential issues with content on your pages, including duplicate, missing, or problematic title tags or meta descriptions. These issues won’t prevent your site from appearing in Google search results, but paying attention to them can provide Google with more information and even help drive traffic to your site
    pls help me how to solve this problem sir

  4. Hi Ajith,

    Did your block of comment-page-1 on GWMtools get the pages out from the index ??

    I was looking for a way to get thoses pages out of the google index, because there are 450pages indexed for my blog bloating the indexed page count.

    – Avinash

    • Yes Avinash, but as for comment-page-1 there seem to be no change in he WM tools report. Focus more on actual URL parameters such as replytocom. I am also tracking ‘comments’ and ‘postcomment’ to see if the indexing of the same has any effect.

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