Google Pulling Titles From Google Maps Now?

Jul 16, 2009 • 9:07 am | comments (6) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Title tags in the search results are very important, they drive clicks, which drives sales. It now appears that Google is pulling the title for some listings from Google Maps and not from the title tag in the page's source code.

A Google Webmaster Help thread reports this issue with a search for blinds or even their title tag, "Shop for Blinds, Window Blinds, Shutters, Plantation Shutters, Window Shades" returns the title tag,

Title Tags from Google Maps?

Why is this happening? No one really knew in the thread, it was a mystery. But I subscribe to Mike Blumenthals blog where he noticed that Google is overriding the title tags for some sites with the business name listed in Google Maps. The thing is, in Mike's case, that site has an ODP listing and the ODP listing's title is being used in Google. If the site were to use a NOODP tag, I think, in this case, the title would revert back. doesn't have an ODP listing, so maybe Google is pulling the title from Google Maps?

If you look at the Google Maps listing for, you will notice the business name is

Google Maps Title

The title tag in the source code, again is "Shop for Blinds, Window Blinds, Shutters, Plantation Shutters, Window Shades."

Why would Google replace the titles of the search listings with Google Maps? They do this sometimes with the ODP title, but people complained and Google supported the NOODP tag to stop Google from using that title over your title tag. So now we will need a NOgMAP tag?

I hope this is some weird bug.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Update: It looks like in this case, Google used something just because the robots.txt file prevented Google from reading the site at some point. JohnMu of Google just replied to the thread saying:

It looks like this URL was briefly disallowed via your robots.txt file. In a case like that, we might choose a different title (if we can't access the original URL), as we did here. In general, once the robots.txt is back to normal, this usually settles down over time, no worries :)

So I assume the title came from anchor text links.

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