If you’ve performed a search in Google recently, you may have noticed that Google has started to change some of the page titles that usually appear in search results.
Instead of displaying the META title tag associated with your page, Google has now started to display an alternative title in some cases. These alternative Title tags appear to be created using the anchor text of links to this page and/or H1 headings on the page itself.
To give you an example, take a look at the META tag for our Easy Search Advertising service and the title tag displayed in Google’s results,
In our case, the format of these new Title tags across our website follows the format of New Title Tag – Site Name.
Will This Impact Your Rankings?
We all know that Title tags are a critical ranking factor – so it’s important to consider if this new policy will impact your ranking in search results.
The good news is that according to Google’s Matt Cutts, your original page Title will still be used for ranking purposes.
“If you have a title that has a bunch of different words in it, we may still use that in our scoring, but when we’re ready to show the snippet to the user we may try to find a better Title.”
The full video can be found below:
What About Click Through Rates?
Rankings aside, it’s also interesting to consider how this change might impact the click-through rate of your site from search results.
If your company uses an alternative title tag strategy that includes your phone number, pricing or location there could be some negative impact if Google chooses to rewrite your title tag and remove these elements.
Alternatively, if Google have kept your Title tag short and directly matches the search engine query, then you may see this as a positive influence.
Overall, this will depend on your individual site so keep track of any changes with the search queries report in your Google webmaster account.
If you’ve noticed any other impact on your site from these changes, please let us know in the blog comments below.
Matt is a marketing professional at ineedhits.com, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.