Google Webmaster Tools – How to fix HTML Improvements reports

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We regularly get asked about the HTML Improvements report in Google Webmaster Tools. This report shows if you have problems with SEO titles and descriptions that you set in All in One SEO Pack. You should start by reading the Quality Guidelines for SEO Titles and Descriptions so that you know what Google wants from your SEO titles and descriptions.

HTML Improvements report in Google Webmaster Tools

So let’s look at the typical issues reported on the HTML Improvements report:

Duplicate meta descriptions: These refer to the SEO descriptions you set on each page or post in All in One SEO Pack. If Google reports a duplicate then check each page they link to and verify you have set unique descriptions. Every description you set in All in One SEO Pack must be unique.

Long meta descriptions: If Google reports long descriptions then check each page they link to and verify you have not exceeded the maximum characters allowed which is typically 160 characters but can be between 230 and 320 characters.

Short meta descriptions: If Google reports short descriptions then check each page they link to and verify you have set descriptions that are over 70 characters.

Missing title tags: These refer to the SEO titles you set on each page or post in All in One SEO Pack. If Google reports missing titles then check each page they link to and verify you have set titles. Every page and post should have a title that complies with the quality guidelines linked to above.

Duplicate title tags: If Google reports a duplicate then check each page they link to and verify you have set unique titles. Every title you set in All in One SEO Pack must be unique.

Long title tags: If Google reports long titles then check each page they link to and verify you have not exceeded the maximum characters allowed which is typically between 50 and 60 characters.

Short title tags: If Google reports short titles then check each page they link to and verify you have set titles that are over 25 characters.

Non-informative title tags: If Google reports this then check each page they link to and verify you have set descriptive titles that comply with the quality guidelines linked to above.

Non-indexable content: Google describes this as pages containing non-indexable content, such as some rich media files, video, or images. Check each page they link to and look for any content that Google might not be able to index.

Important Notes:

  1. Unlike some other reports in Google Webmaster Tools, there is no button to mark something as fixed here. You have to keep a track of what you have fixed so that when you visit this reports again, you will know what you fixed and what is new and needs fixing.
  2. Google doesn’t update this report very well, so you may see pages listed here that you fixed but Google hasn’t removed them from the report as yet. You should keep a track of this yourself, I find a Google doc or spreadsheet works well and you can export this report to either of these.
  3. It is possible for Google to report false positives. If you check a link and find nothing wrong then resubmit the page to Google and wait to see if the page gets removed from the report. Always keep a track of what you’ve fixed and what needs fixing and fix errors when they are reported.
  4. Above all, obey the quality guidelines for titles and descriptions. If you do this then you should not have any problems with content showing on this report.
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