?m=1, ?m=0 Duplicate Title Tags Errors in GWT HTML Suggestions [Blogger]

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Duplicate title tags in GWT (Google Webmaster tools) may arise when crawlers discover two similar titles on different pages while crawling and indexing you blog. Removal of duplicate title tags and description is very important because it can pollute your SERP rankings when Crawlers found same content within different URL, HTML suggestions alarms the webmasters to take notice of detected issue which may or may not cause drops in SERP Rakings. The errors mentioned in the title of posts only arise in blogger blogs; in this article we will go through the steps that should be taken to minimize it. [Note: This is Just for Blogger Blogs, as I am not sure about the WP platform]

Reason of Duplication

There are several factors involved which may cause duplicate title tags, most of the webmaster on forums complain about the ?m=0 and ?m=1 duplicate  issues in GWT as most of them don’t know how to minimize this issue.

?m=1: Error

It’s the mobile version of your blogger blog template, when user visits your blog from cell phone, the template redirects the users to ?m=1, right just like users, Google crawlers also crawl these URL’s to make sure they fetched every single piece of content from your blog, but in general the whole template, titles and descriptions appears to be same and Google assigns this version with Duplicate content.

?m=0: Error

This is also the Mobile version of your template which in user experience appears to be the desktop version on mobile screen, when you edit your mobile template from your blogger dashboard and set option to [No, Show desktop version on Mobile templates] your users will be redirected to the Desktop version with an URL ending of ?m=0. Google crawlers also assign those pages as duplicate.

How to Minimize HTML Suggestion Errors in GWT:

Newbies gets confused as they don’t know how to minimize these issues, well there are three ways you can address these errors.

Use of Canonical Tag:

As Google suggest you to add this one to your blog, Blogger templates naturally have canonical tags present in the head section, but if for some reasons it’s not present in there then you have to manually place it.

This Tag:    
<b:include data='blog' name='all-head-content'/>
It is all in one SEO Pack for blogger blogs. It is present in the starting of your blog <Head> Section, search for it and places the above mentioned tag below it; it ensures that canonical tag will show up on every single page of blog, it for some reason blogger custom templates doesn’t allows you to add the code, you can use this one as an alternative which is the original canonical tag.

Canonical Tag: 
 <link expr:href="data:blog.url" rel="canonical"/>
This canonical tag allows search engine to understand the original page VS duplicates on your blog. If crawlers come to crawl the mobile version or any other duplicate version of your page, it redirects them to the original version and don’t let them to index all version of your page, it helps you getting better rank in SERPS.

Robots.txt

Recently blogger platform announces to let you edit your robots.txt file in blogger blogs, Robot.txt allows you to block the specially mentioned duplicate pages. As they rolled this feature a few months ago and most of the newbie blogs don’t have any idea on how to use this, well no worries now you can easily block the mobile version ?m=0 and ?m=1 of your blog to minimize the HTML suggestion errors. The Google Official Robot.txt file usage guide allows you to easily learn how to use it and block those URL which ends up with the following parameters. Learn more about it here. [Notice: I didn’t tested it before]

URL Parameters:

Well the easiest way to block your URL’s which ends up with “m=0 or m=1”, I asked the top Google contributors at Google webmaster forums and they said don’t alter it or use it as it the not the best option, don’t use unless you are sure about how parameter work for your blog, the best option is to let Google bot decided which is the best page to be indexed. [Note: I tested it but that is not the most effective way of getting ignored by crawlers, as Google crawlers are not bounded to follow these parameters, they are working on this feature to make it much better]

Conclusion: so we have concluded that the best method to minimize Errors is to make good use of canonical tags as it a strong signal for Google crawlers to drop those errors. Don’t go for other methods unless you are sure about the URL structure of your blog.

[Related: Blogging Tips]