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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Has Google Altered Your Title Tag Without Your Consent?

Posted by @ 5:29 pm

We’ve told you a number of times how important title tags are to your websites ranking in Google. But Google doesn’t seem to care about the hard work you put into the creating these tags, they’re simply going to alter them.

There have been a number of complaints pop up on the WebmasterWorld forum that Google is selecting a different title from what the webmaster placed in their title tag.

It seems Google is not picky as to which sites it targets; Apple has even had its title tag changed (see example below).

Google’s John Mueller explains why they are doing this:

In general, when we run across titles that appear to be sub-optimal, we may choose to rewrite them in the search results. This could happen when the titles are particularly short, shared across large parts of your site or appear to be mostly a collection of keywords. 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.

Though Google has provided a specific reason as to why people are seeing this sudden change in title tags, Matt Cutts has noted that the company reserves the right to suggest a different title from what the webmasters might have set. In the meantime, webmasters can take the following advice from Google:

Make sure each page on your site has a useful and descriptive page title (contained within the title tags). If a title tag is missing, or if the same title tag is used for many different pages, Google may use other text we find on the page. The HTML suggestions page in Webmaster Tools lists pages where Google has detected missing or problematic title tags. (To see this page, click Diagnostics in the left-hand menu of the site Dashboard. Then click HTML suggestions.)

So should webmaster start panicking? Is this a precursor to some big change soon to be announced by Google? Or is this a permanent change in the Google algorithm? We will have to just wait and watch.

Courtney Mills Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.

View Courtney Mills's profile

Discussion (11 - comments)

[...] Click Here To Read Original Post on SEO | SEM News [...]

By Has Google Altered Your Title Tag Without Your Consent? « Miami Beach Web Designer - February 24, 2011

[...] Has Google Altered Your Title Tag Without Your Consent? February 25, 2011 Ryan Morales SEO | SEM News No Comments [...]

By Has Google Altered Your Title Tag Without Your Consent? | RM2 Project - February 24, 2011

We were dropped from the first page yesterday from No1 to 33 but 24hrd later we are No1. again- we changed our title tag manually yesterday ourselves- not sure what is happening.

By Australian Website Development - February 25, 2011

I do find it a little funny to hear people complain about this. Frankly, Google doesn’t have to display anything. I realize it can be frustrating, but Google (or any other SE for that matter) is not obligated to take your suggestions.

It seems they are trying to have less spammy info showing up. Which is of course a big complaint they have been hearing of late.

Jumbo CD Investments

By ChrisCD - February 25, 2011

This is an issue of Copyright – good or bad – you own the site & All Rights Reserved includes the Title, meta & keywords. While I am actually FOR this “help” for the many websites I have seen w/Home in the title or a complete ad – I always make sure every page of a site has the correct title & all tags to go exactly with the page viewed. Many designers are lazy and just copy & paste the same tags to all pages. Many “self designers” do the same because they don’t know any better plus sometimes they have no clue there should be tags other than the Title. There is also an issue w/Flash – oh pretty pictures wow! But what is the site about? Continue on to the next page please. This is frustrating to the viewer and the search engines which are blind to Flash.
So even tho I strongly for copyright – I applaud Google for taking the time to figure out what it is looking at so the site will be better identified and in the end get the owner more traffic. I look at a lot of page source code on sites. Sometimes I actually email the owner of this tag problem – not to get business but because they should know about it. I get many thank you’s from owners but sometimes the webmaster – designers are irate because they have to fix something – tags they should have put into the site in the first place.
My 2 cents & I am not sorry I said it.

By HOLDSTILL - March 3, 2011

Yeah I noticed this changes last month, but it exists only for few days and my site has got the title back which I have mentioned in title tag.

I think its better option if we have same title in multiple pages then Google provides with the variety of other titles.

Great to read about this.

Amit Barfa

By Amit Barfa - March 4, 2011

I get phone call from Google and they ask how and why I am so notorius in the searc. I say to them, that was made organicaly and I did not payed lot money for it. Google hangup..I call back and was only asnwer machine. What google want with those changes is to pay them extra.

By Abatar Limo & Car Service - March 5, 2011

I was not aware that Google had done this. Good to know. Thanks for sharing

By sandroid - March 5, 2011

That must have been when l looked at my email there was nothing l just could not understand what was going on and l’m just a pensioner trying to make extra money to keep me going.Thanks for letting me know.

By tracy - March 7, 2011

[...] in February this year we discussed how Google was annoying several webmasters by changing their website’s title tags which [...]

By Is Google Ignoring Your Page Title Tags Again? | 2010 World Top Template Forum - July 24, 2011

[...] in February this year we discussed how Google was annoying several webmasters by changing their website’s title tags which [...]

By Is Google Ignoring Your Page Title Tags Again? | RM2 Project - July 24, 2011

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