URLs with duplicate meta descriptions
This means that the URL in question has the exact same meta description as at least one other indexable URL.
Why is this important?
The meta description is considered important to help users quickly understand what content they can expect to find on the page, when clicking through from the search engine results page. Well written meta descriptions typically achieve a better click-through-rate.
If lots of meta descriptions are duplicate, this represents a missed optimization opportunity. It may make it difficult for users to differentiate similar pages in search results, and may result in search engines simply re-writing the descriptions for you (sometimes with disastrous results).
Furthermore, if there are large scale duplicate content issues on the site, you could trip quality algorithms like Google's Panda, which can depress organic search traffic to the site as a whole.
What does the Hint check?
This Hint will trigger for any internal, indexable URL which has the exact same meta description as at least one other internal, indexable URL.
Note: since the duplicate content check is only for indexable URLs, URLs which are canonicalized are not included in the analysis - as the canonical tag 'handles' the duplicate issue.
How do you resolve this issue?
Typically, duplicate meta descriptions are the result of either human error or a script error.
Meta descriptions have no impact on SEO, however they do have an impact on CTR from search results, so in general it is a good idea to set unique descriptions.
However, in some situations, or for certain sets of pages, you may feel that it is not a good use of resources to write a unique meta description for every single page. In those cases, it might be more beneficial to leave the meta descriptions blank.
How do you get more data from Sitebulb?
Within Sitebulb you can either dig in to a specific URL and look at the duplicate content that way, or you can export all the duplicate content and sort in Excel.
To find details of the URLs with duplicate meta descriptions for a specific URL, click on the blue URL Details button from the URL List.
The URL Details tab will slide across, and you then need to navigate to Duplicate Content -> Meta Descriptions, and you'll see all the duplicate URLs underneath.
To export ALL the duplicate meta description data, click on the green Export Hint Data button in the top right hand corner.
This will give you a nicely formatted Excel sheet showing you all the URLs with duplicate meta descriptions, allowing you to easily sort and pick through the data.