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Combining the meta description and Open Graph Protocol description into one tag

Posted by: admin November 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

Is it possible to combine the meta description and Open Graph Protocol description…

<meta name="description" content="My meta description copy." />
<meta property="og:description" content="My meta description copy." />

…into one when they contain the same content?

<meta name="description" property="og:description" content="My meta description copy." />
Answers:

Yes, you can combine them. To test it, I made the simple HTML page below, uploaded it to a server, then ran the page through Facebook’s URL Linter. It reported no warnings related to the description tag (only about the missing og:image tag) and correctly read the description.

<!doctype html>
<html>
    <head>
        <meta name="description" property="og:description" content="My meta description copy." />
        <meta property="og:title" content="Test page" />
        <meta property="og:type" content="article" />
        <meta property="og:url" content="http://example.com/ogtest.html" />
    </head>
    <body>
    Test
    </body>
</html>

Note that, if the og:url value is different to the current page url, Facebook will look for a description on that url instead of the current one and ignore the current page’s description tag.

It might also interest you to know that, even though it’s possible to combine the two description tags, Facebook doesn’t do this on their own website.

Questions:
Answers:

Some additional info on why this is possible/allowed:

HTML+RDFa 1.1 extends HTML5’s meta element.

HTML+RDFa 1.1 (W3C Recommendation) defines:

If the RDFa @property attribute is present on the meta element,
neither the @name, @http-equiv, nor @charset attributes are required
and the @content attribute MUST be specified.

So when using RDFa’s @property the name is not required but it is not forbidden either, making

<meta name="description" property="og:description" content="great description">

perfectly ok according to spec.

I found this from the answer to this related question: Is it possible to use the same meta tag for opengraph and schema.org