When are title tags identical?

It is important for both Google and web users that every URL has an individual title. But what exactly do we mean when we talk about “unique” titles? And how do unique titles help web users and Google alike?

What does the title element mean for SEO?

A document’s title tag gives web users the first indication of what the content of the page is about. Google also uses the title to categorise the page and the information that is found there.

You can find out more about what needs to be considered when designing and formulating the title in this article: “What does the optimal title of a web page look like?“.

What are identical title tags?

Technically speaking, two pages have an identical title tag if what is written in the <head> HTML source code between <title> and </title> is the same on both URLs.

Example of an identical title
If we were to use the following title tag on https://www.sistrix.com/blog/ and https://www.sistrix.com/ask-sistrix/, we would have two identical titles:

<title> Welcome to the SISTRIX Website </title>

How can we ensure that the titles are no longer identical?

It would be enough to adjust the titles slightly so that they are no longer seen as duplicates by Google.
We could use the following title tags for https://www.sistrix.com/blog/:

<title> Welcome to the SISTRIX Website - Blog </title>

and for https://www.sistrix.com/ask-sistrix/:

<title> Welcome to the SISTRIX Website - Ask SISTRIX </title>

Now that we have two different titles, we can sit back and relax, right? No! After all, it’s primarily about the people who will view this page in the search results. When choosing a good title, web users should always be in the foreground, so the title should concisely reflect the content of the page.

How can we improve title tags?

Whilst our fictitious title tags are now unique, they are far from meaningful. The title assigned to the blog may make it clear what it is about. But what is meant by “Ask SISTRIX”?

For this reason, it is worthwhile to clearly define in the title what visitors can expect to find on the subpage. Our blog is an article on the topic of SEO, in which we present industry news, publish our own case studies and provide background information on Google updates. All of this can be included in the title:

<title>SISTRIX SEO Blog - News, case studies and backgrounds from the SEO industry - sistrix.com</title>

The same applies to the Ask SISTRIX page. This is our SEO knowledge database. This could be reflected in the title tag as follows:

<title>Ask SISTRIX - Your SEO Knowledge Base from SISTRIX</title>

How do I recognise duplicate content in the title?

As an example, let’s take a shop for fine whisky which has three different pages, each with the following title tags:

Page 1: <title> Whisky from Australia </title>
Page 2: <title> Whisky Liqueur </title>
Page 3: <title> Whisky Glasses </title>

All titles start with the same keyword, “whisky”, but visitors can clearly see that these are three different subpages on different topics in the extensive world of whisky. Incidentally, the Googlebot is also capable of making this distinction.
The mere use of the same term in different title tags is therefore not considered to be duplicate content.

Automated title tag check in SISTRIX

If you have your page crawled with a SISTRIX onpage project, we will reliably show you all title tags that appear on multiple pages at the same time. This allows you to quickly check your pages for duplicate title tags and duplicate content problems.

SERP Snippet Generator

The title of your web page is one of the first points of contact between your page and web searchers on Google’s results pages. You should make an effort to encourage the searcher to click. The SISTRIX SERP Snippet Generator helps you optimise your website and shows you how other users might see your web page when it appears in the search results.

Steve Paine