Received a comment about duplicate meta tags, the commenter was using the Avada WordPress Theme (I’m not familiar with it, think it’s a premium WordPress theme) and the Yoast SEO Plugin version 3.5.

The site did have duplicate social media meta data, looks like they had either two WordPress plugins that add social network OG (Open Graph) meta tags or the Avada WordPress theme also adds a smaller set of OG meta tags.

How to Check for Duplicate Open Graph Meta Tags

Easiest way to check for duplicate open graph meta tags and other meta tags is to load a selections of WordPress pages in a browser (FireFox, Google Chrome) and view the HTML source. The selection of WordPress pages should include: the WordPress Home Page, WordPress Post, WordPress Static Page, WordPress Category, WordPress Tag, any other types of WordPress output. You have to check them all because each type could have different results.

I loaded the commenter’s home page http://motorhomescampervans.net in FireFox and Right Clicked on the webpage (not over an image) and selected “View Page Source”. This opens a new FireFox tab with the HTML source of the webpage: see screenshot of the relevant part of the HTML code below – I’ve highlighted the duplicate OG tags in blue.

Duplicate Yoast SEO Open Graph Meta Tags

Duplicate Yoast SEO Open Graph Meta Tags

What you are looking for are lines of code including:

meta property
or
meta name

This is hidden meta data used by search engines and social networks like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter when your webpages are shared.

In FireFox View HTML Source if you click on the menu “Edit” > “Find” you can search through the code for various meta tags. Obvious ones to look for are:

og:title
og:description
og:url

If you find two or more copies of the same OG meta tags you have a duplicate Open Graph Meta Tags issue. With so many WordPress themes and plugins having social media network features it’s not difficult to have them added twice by mistake.

For the commenter’s website a quick Google search for “Avada WordPress Theme OG” suggests it’s the theme, first result is “Reply To: issue with More Than One OG URL Specified – Theme Fusion” which says:

Open Graph Meta Tags option under WP Dashboard > Appearance > Theme Options > Advanced Options.

Since the commenter uses the Yoast SEO plugin to add a complete set of social media meta data, they should disable the Avada Open Graph meta tags (looks like a partial set of data) under the Avada Themes Options.

To be fair, this isn’t a failing of either the Yoast SEO plugin or the Avada WordPress theme, it’s a case of the user not understanding the SEO plugin and the theme replicate the same feature.

One needs to be disabled.

In Stallion Responsive (the WordPress SEO theme I develop), there’s an option to add Open Graph meta tags, so could happen to my theme users. Below is a screenshot of Stallion Responsive’s open graph meta tags form for this WordPress Post – the form is where you set specific OG and Twitter meta tags for a Post or Page.

Stallion Responsive Theme Open Graph Meta Tags

Stallion Responsive Theme Open Graph Meta Tags

I’ve used the same database names as Yoast does for Open Graph and Twitter Meta Tags, means if a person installs Stallion Responsive after (or still) using Yoast, Stallion can use the Yoast SEO data (Stallion uses most of Yoasts SEO data: also uses the All In One SEO plugins SEO data as well). Think I’ll see if I can disable the Stallion Responsive output when Yoast is active, I don’t recommend using Yoast SEO (see my Yoast review), but lots of WordPress users use Yoast, so have to take user behavior into account.

I currently have an option on the Stallion Responsive Promotion Options page to turn Stallion’s completely off, will have to add to the feature that if Yoast SEO is active and OG meta tags are on, don’t use the Stallion Responsive Open Graph/Twitter SEO data (we don’t want double Open Graph and Twitter meta tags). The screenshot shows this sites home page Open Graph and Twitter settings and sitewide settings.

Stallion Responsive Open Graph Meta Tags

Stallion Responsive Open Graph Meta Tags

The Yoast SEO plugin does have what I consider (some would argue they aren’t duplicate) a duplicate social networks meta tags issue.

Yoast SEO Duplicate Open Graph/Twitter Meta Tags

The Yoast SEO plugin goes a little over the top on Open Graph type meta tags. If you view HTML source of this post you will see I have a smaller set of meta tags than Yoast SEO outputs: I have OG tags built into Stallion Responsive and have only added the ones that are NEEDED.

Facebook uses the standard OG meta tags, so OG ones are all that’s needed for Facebook.

meta property=”og:title” content=”Title of Webpage”
meta property=”og:description” content=”The descriptive text shown by Facebook, Twitter etc… when shared”
meta property=”og:url” content=”URL to an image”
meta property=”og:image” content=”URL to the image shown by Facebook etc…”
meta property=”og:image:width” content=”width of above image, optional”
meta property=”og:image:height” content=”height of image, optional”
meta property=”og:site_name” content=”Title of the site: home page title”
meta property=”og:locale” content=”the country code”
meta property=”og:type” content=”type of content, article, website for example”
Facebook specific.
meta property=”fb:app_id” content=”an app id setup under Facebook developer, optional”

Twitter uses most of the standard OG tags, but also has it’s own Twitter meta tags.

meta name=”twitter:title” content=”Replicates og:title, so not needed if og:title set, duplicate”
meta name=”twitter:description” content=”Replicates og:description, so not needed if og:description set, duplicate”
meta name=”twitter:image” content=”Replicates og:image, so not needed if og:image set, duplicate”

Twitter has these unique Twitter meta tags that are required.

meta name=”twitter:card” content=”Type of image shared, required”
meta name=”twitter:site” content=”Your sites Twitter@ name, required”
meta name=”twitter:creator” content=”Your authors Twitter@ name, only required if different to twitter:site”

If you know what you are doing in developing in WordPress these are the ones you should have available.

meta property=”og:title” content=”Title Of Webpage”
meta property=”og:description” content=”The descriptive text shown by Facebook, Twitter etc… when shared”
meta property=”og:url” content=”URL to the webpage”
meta property=”og:image” content=”URL to the image shown by Facebook etc…”
meta property=”og:site_name” content=”Title of the site: home page title”
meta property=”og:locale” content=”the country code”
meta property=”og:type” content=”type of content, article, website for example”
meta property=”fb:app_id” content=”an app id setup under Facebook developer, optional”
meta name=”twitter:card” content=”Type of image shared, required”
meta name=”twitter:site” content=”Your sites Twitter @name, required”
meta name=”twitter:creator” content=”Your authors Twitter @name, only required if different to twitter:site, multiple authors on a site”

In the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin these Twitter meta tags are overkill.

meta name=”twitter:title” content=”Replicates og:title, so not needed if og:title set, duplicate”
meta name=”twitter:description” content=”Replicates og:description, so not needed if og:description set, duplicate”
meta name=”twitter:image” content=”Replicates og:image, so not needed if og:image set, duplicate”

Don’t know if Yoast has an option to disable the ‘duplicate’ Twitter meta tags.

From a performance SEO issue it’s a tiny SEO negative. It’s extra database connections, extra data to download, but it is a tiny, tiny amount: one unoptimized image will do far more SEO damage.

David Law

David Law > AKA SEO Dave
*
: 20+ Years Experience as a Freelance SEO Consultant, WordPress SEO Expert, Internet Marketer, Developer of Multiple WordPress SEO Plugins/SEO Themes Including the Stallion Responsive Theme (tested to WordPress 4.8.1 August 2017).

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