There is a "sort-of" answer but really doesn't define the rules.
When editing one of my lenses, there was a note at the top that someone already had the title that was earlier than mine. It didn't stop me from editing but now I wonder, do I need to change mine? What happens if I don't?
This may not happen a lot but it happens to be a favorite Christmas Carol so there would always be the chance that the title was already in use. Since I have several "hubs" to edit for other carols, I would like to know the rules. Although I haven't checked, I can almost bet the title for at least two others are in use too.
I had that happen with one of mine today. I opted not to change the title since it has had good traffic for several years.
I'm interested in what advice you get here.
At one point in my time here, if a title was already taken, we couldn't use it and had to choose a different title. I'm not certain if there is a definite policy in place now, but it could be an issue.
It might help to do a hub search on the title and see what comes up on the site.
If your hub is already published, if you decided to change or add a word to the title so it isn't exactly the same, your URL would still be the same as when you first published the hub.
You can use the same title without any problems but you have to think about how Google will view your hub.
Google is not going to return two hubs with the same title in the search results - so which is the best in the eyes of Google?
My title matches the URL. The other hub has the same title but a different URL. Mine was written 3 years ago, the other 5 years ago. So where do I become accountable? I can't see changing the title to something different than the actual URL.
I don't know about the rules at HubPages, but apparently they do allow it now, since Virginia opted not to change her title.
However, I think Google would consider more than just the title in determining the rank of your article. I'm not aware of any specific comments or direction from google, but just thinking of the way the search engines work, it's hard to imagine that just a title would be the deciding factor. So if you come across one with the same title, I'd read the other one and see how similar it is to yours. Articles can have the same title but actually go off in completely different directions.
If the two articles are not that similar, I wouldn't worry about the title. Instead I would make sure my keywords are strong -- that people and search engines alike have a very clear understanding of the topic. If the two articles are very similar you have more to be concerned about. You might want to see if there is more info you can add or some way to make yours more detailed or something. Or you might want to wait a couple of months and see what happens first...
It is somewhat helpful to have your url match your title, so it's good that yours match. But it's the combination of all things that ultimately determine your ranking.
One of the most important factors for the keywords that you will rank for is your title. So if there are other hubs that are competing for the same keywords (in the title and within the hub) and they are similar, better or longer established then you are going to have a tough time having your hub returned in the search results.
Just do the search in Google for the keywords / title and see if the other hub is ranking and where. If it is already ranking well then you will have a lot of trouble getting your hub to beat it from the same site.
I have hubs that have the same title as other hubs on the site. But my hubs are 2-3 times the length, have far more relevant information etc.. Mine are the ones that rank. But I have had others that will have had to compete against other good hubs so I have targeted different keywords/titles.
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