I noticed some issues with the SEO of some of my sites and in digging into the source, it looks like metatag is the culprit. By default, the global settings provide [node:title] or [current-page:title] or whatever which seems to completely skew all prior SEO that has been done to a site. From what I can tell, Google has started taking more precedence with the og:title property vs the html title and if someone doesn't know any better when installing or upgrading metatag, it can completely hose the site SEO... I use the page title module and while I know there are still issues to be hashed out between metatag and page title, I found it rather odd that metatag would assume and impose certain SEO defaults on a site, instead of letting the maintainer define those values (I guess it's six one way, half a dozen the other... some people want the defaults, others don't.) Unfortunately, since SEO takes time to propagate, it isn't something that is quickly noticed.

The fix I found, was to delete the tokens for "title" (since I use page title) and "og:title" (since page title doesn't work right) and just let the SEO chips fall where they may with the html title tag. I don't foresee Google requiring the open graph standard on sites anytime soon and until things are more stable with metatag, I feel it is safe to use the standard that has been used over the last 10 years.

I guess my request is to have the title tokens removed from the global settings, instead of "assumed" by default. If I remember right, I think the global front page token default is set to [site:name]... talk about a complete homepage SEO killer except for people searching for the name of your site or business...

Am I completely off in my thinking or is this something that needs a bit of attention?


philsward’s picture

Sorry, brainfart... disabled the Open Graph module, so I won't have to worry about that end of things... Default vs no-default debate still stands though.

DamienMcKenna’s picture

Status: Active » Closed (won't fix)

It seems your problem was a) running both Metatag and Page Title and b) having a different configuration for Page Title than what was being generated for og:title. First off, because there is no separate "site name" basic meta tag, Metatag defaults to using "[current-page:title] | [site:name]" for the page title; in OpenGraph, where there are separate title and site name tags, Metatag defaults to using [current-page:title] for the title tag and [site:name] for the site name tag. This is on purpose.

Secondly, it seems the real problem was that Metatag was setting one thing for [current-page:title] while you were setting something different within Page Title and Metatag wasn't picking up the change. Since beta4 there has been a warning to avoid using Page title and Metatag as there can be unexpected consequences.

So, the official recommendation is to not use Page Title, there's nothing further that can be done because this is exactly the scenario that can happen. Sorry.

philsward’s picture

Thanks DamienMcKenna, a lot has changed with metatag over the last few months and I haven't exactly kept up to date with the changes... After digging into the metatag module a bit, I started seeing why things were the way they were and decided that with the new improvements, there really isn't a need for page title anymore (correct me if I'm wrong) because metatag will pretty well handle everything page title does (and more).

I guess the one thing I still don't have answered: "Is Google putting more emphasis on og properties now? If so, isn't it a bad thing to default the front page og:title property to [site:name] only?" I need to do some more research on the open graph standard and who all is using it, but one week, Google had my normal title in the search results, the next it was just my site name with the only thing sticking as to why, was the og:title. Any thoughts or words of wisdom on this?