When Google Rewrites Your Title Tags

Oct 25, 2010 • 8:23 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

A Google Webmaster Help thread has JohnMu from Google explaining when Google may rewrite your title tags in the search results.

Typically, the title attribute used in your source code of your page is what Google would display in search results. But sometimes Google will change it and show something different.

John explained when Google may use the liberty to change the snippet's title from your title tag to something else. He offered three cases, I am sure there are more:

  • Titles are particularly short
  • Titles are shared across large parts of your site
  • Titles appear to be mostly a collection of keywords

What do you do if this happens to your titles? John said:

One thing you can do to help prevent this is to make sure that your titles and descriptions are relevant, unique and compelling, without being "stuffed" with too much boilerplate text across your site.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Previous story: Google's Realtime Counter & Shared By In Web Search Results
 

Comments:

Samuel Lavoie

10/25/2010 01:01 pm

Saw that with sites that got highly irrelevant Title tags like "homepage". Google could figure out the business name and use it as the Title tag for the homepage. Was a pretty strong argument to the client that they needed to optimize them ;)

No Name

10/26/2010 10:56 am

Well, based on what John said, I believe Google will rewrite most of the site titles! My question is: will this affect our page rankings?

Rebecca Gill

10/26/2010 03:55 pm

I'm a fan of Google and John, but is this really news? It is more common sense than anything. Google has always been very clear about its messaging to web masters and SEO consultants. Make your pages of value to your reader and we will reward you. This brief statement seems inline without Google has been loudly saying a while.

Barry Schwartz

10/26/2010 04:03 pm

Rebecca, didnt say this was news.

Jose

11/08/2010 04:37 pm

Why is so important that titles are not shared across parts of your site?

Phill Ohren

11/10/2010 07:18 am

Generally, if it's a branded term, Google will only show the brand name. I've notcied different titles based on queries.

Elmer

11/16/2010 10:19 am

I've noticed this for a while.

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