Google recently announced that they have changed how they present titles for search result listings on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
For 80% of the results, Google still uses the HTML title tag from the website to present titles in the SERP.
For the remaining 20%, Google may present the title in the SERP differently than how it is coded on the website. Examples of changes that Google might make are:
- To add site names (e.g. the company name or brand)
- where a provided title is extremely long, Google might select the most relevant portion(s) of the title
- Convert a pipe character (I) to a dash (-)
- Incorporating the sites H1 (heading 1) into the title or any other content that is styled to be more prominent than other text on the page
- Replace your title of “home” with something more relevant
Google’s goal in making these changes is to increase the likelihood of a search engine user to click on the listings that are presented. This is good news for website owners!
What Should You Do About This Update?
- This is a great opportunity to review all of your page titles (descriptions and H1 tags while you are at it!) to see if there are changes to be made. Learn about writing page titles.
- You can do this using Screaming Frog to see all of your pages at once or to see one page at a time you can use the Chrome Extension SEO Meta in One Click.
- For the more techy individuals, there is a Bookmarklet that can show you what changes Google has made to your page titles. Here is an example from the DriveTraffic website:
Where there is red, Google has changed the title for that page. In this case, the original title was too long as can be seen by the ellipses (…)
Interested to know more about how to optimize your content for Search Engine Results? Take a look at the SEO Checklist with basic rules to be implemented when creating or updating your content.
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