Google Not Listening To Your Title Tag? You're Not Alone

Feb 21, 2011 • 8:56 am | comments (14) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

title tagA featured WebmasterWorld thread has dozens of complaints from Webmasters and SEOs about Google selecting a different title from what the Webmaster placed in the title tag.

What is the title and why is it so important? The title is in the page source code, labeled 'title,' it is used when you bookmark pages in your browser and typically used by Google for what they display as the blue hyperlink in the search results.

Google, for years, have been selecting dynamic titles for the search results when they deem that other titles are more appropriate. In fact, Google told us when they pick alternative titles, which includes (1) titles are particularly short, (2) titles are shared across large parts of your site and/or (3) titles appear to be mostly a collection of keywords.

A thread at WebmasterWorld has a small uprising with webmasters who are upset that their title tags aren't showing in Google's search results. They don't match the title tag from their page source code and are thus very upset.

Here is an example, a search for [apple] versus [computers]:

Google Titles

Google Titles

And as you know,'s title tag is simple "Apple."

So what is going on here? Is there a bug at Google or did Google ramp up when they show special titles that do not exactly match the title tag in the page's source code?

Some are even asking if the title tag change at Google is related to major Google shifts going on.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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