Google Changing Web Pages Title in SERP
Google’s search engine algorithm change is not a new thing for the SEO community. Google keeps changing its ranking factors to give a better user experience. Google wants to give relevant and updated information to its users. Tuesday, August 24, 2021, Google Search Central announced Changing Web Pages Title in Google’s search results.
As I mentioned Google search engine always tries its best to provide the best information to its users. Let’s discuss in detail these Web Pages Title Change factors.
- Updates on the webpage title change
- Why did Google change the web pages title in SERP?
- Google New Changing Webpage Title Policy
- Does Google changing webpage title in SERP affect SEO ranking?
- Key Benefits of Changing Web Pages Title
- How to check the title changes in SERP
Updates on Webpage Title Change
This has been confirm by Google’s Danny Sullivan confirms
“Last week, we introduced a new system of generating titles for web pages. Before this, titles might change based on the query issued. This generally will no longer happen with our new system. This is because we think our new system is producing titles that work better for documents overall, to describe what they are about, regardless of the particular query.”
In Google Search Central Blog mentioned the reason of algorithm change and how changing web pages title in search result work:
“Also, while we’ve gone beyond HTML text to create titles for over a decade, our new system is making even more use of such text. In particular, we are making use of text that humans can visually see when they arrive at a web page. We consider the main visual title or headline shown on a page, content that site owners often place within
<H1>tags or other header tags, and content that’s large and prominent through the use of style treatments.”
Why did Google Change Web Pages Title in SERP?
Every digital marketer and SEO community knows web pages titles are an important SEO ranking factor. Web pages title the first and key information shown to the searcher in search results with our website page link. When searcher click on that page link comes to our website and then take some action on our website in the form our making a purchase, submit a query, etc.
But, it is always advised to write a unique, descriptive page title and Meta description for each page.
Page Title is the thumbnail of the page and it helps to rank on the search engine results page
Meta Description is the short description of the page and it helps the Click-through Rate (CTR) on the search results page. But Google has observed many SEOs don’t follow the basics and best practices of website optimization like unique title, character limitations, UX, website structure data, and more.
Google Changing Web pages title because
Google changing the web pages title tags in search result page because SEOs don’t follow the fundamentals of webpage optimizations like:
- Too Long Titles
- “Stuffed” with keywords, because creators mistakenly think adding a bunch of words will increase the chances that a page will rank better. Keywords stuffing and poor keyword density on pages. Use Content spinning or Rogeting (Content spinning works by replacing specific words, phrases, sentences, or even entire paragraphs with any number of alternate versions to provide a slightly different variation with each spin – also known as Rogeting. This process can be completely automated or written manually as many times as needed)
- Lack title tags entirely or contain repetitive “boilerplate” language. For instance, home pages might simply be called “Home”. In other cases, all pages in a site might be called “Untitled” or simply have the name of the site. (A boilerplate is a short paragraph summarising a company and is used across all marketing materials.)
Google wants SEOs to understand and follow the basics of SEO for better UX and get more relevant traffic for your business growth.
Google New Changing Webpage Title Policy
Now Google may not only rank and show the title written on your webpage. Google may rank and show after changing web pages title from the following website HTML data points:
- <title> tags being replaced by <h1> tags or other <h> tags ( h2, h3, h4, h5, or h6 tags)
- Adding subcategory or breadcrumb names to the middle of title tags
- Removing elipses from truncated titles
- Adding numbers or dates to the beginning of titles
- Replacing pipes ( | ) with dashes ( – ) when appending brand names
- Leveraging image alt text or filenames for titles
- Google (likely unintentionally) adding superscripts or other punctuation found alongside headlines into titles
- In rare cases, Google inserting or modifying titles based on information found elsewhere on the page
Does Google Changing Webpage Title in SERP affect SEO Ranking?
Now, A very common worry for all SEOs (including myself), whether Google will consider the Keywords used in webpage for ranking or not? Because as we all know a page’s <title tag> is one of the top-level ranking factors and advisable to use the primary keyword in the title.
This Google Changing webpage title definitely going to affect your ranking but there it has many benefits to your ranking and businesses. All it depends upon the structure and quality of HTML data points on your web pages for ranking purposes.
Google will still pull up URLs containing certain keywords in the <title tags> and works the same way but Google may show a page’s <h1 heading tag> or another headline <h2 to h6> heading tags. Even Google may use image tag <image alt text> or image <file names> from your webpage for a title change in the SERP.
Yes, Google pushed some change where it’s dynamically crafting titles in the SERPs based on content on the page (not just h1s). But, it’s not based on passage-based ranking. That makes complete sense since passage-based ranking was about understanding longer, unstructured pages.
Good example of Google changing the title of my post & I think it’s doing a solid job. Google pulled this from a sentence in my post. Actually, my post has that line twice. The title I used describes the post better, but the SERP title is probably better for users based on query.
Key Benefits of Changing Web Pages Title
Now as we know Google is going to change the title dynamically as per this new algorithm change. Google might rewrite your title in SERP based on the following key factors:
1. If title is too long
2. If Keywords have been stuffed
3. If default text is present which doesn’t represent what is this page all about
Google says a focus on good HTML title tags remains valid. This will help increase the click-through rate (CTR) of your page from search results. Google is still collecting feedbacks and will keep improving it. But their testing shows the change they have introduced changing web pages titles in search results are readable and preferred by searchers compared to our old system. “As with any system, the titles we generally won’t always be perfect. We do welcome any feedback in our forums. We’re already making refinements to our new system based on feedback, and we’ll keep working to make it even better over time. Our testing shows the change we’ve introduced produces titles that are more readable and preferred by searchers compared to our old system.”
How to check the title changes in SERP
From my research, I found two solutions to this. How can you check what the new title suggested or showing in SERP for your web pages?
- Check it from SEOWL.CO
- Please open this URL in your Chrome Browser (https://www.seowl.co/title-rewrite-checker/)
- Enter your URLs (one per line) or you can enter your website sitemal.xml URL below
- Click the Check Titles button
- Wait for a couple of minutes and just scroll down the page you can see Results.
- You can export the report and see URL-wise Page Title and SERP Title.
2. Fede Gomez (WordPress Developer) – He has developed the script which you need to bookmark in your Chrome Brower. Please follow the steps carefully how to bookmark the script for your future reference below:
- Open this URL https://gist.github.com/fedegomez/7b4601e2cc9491e004189e9a23dd35b1
- Copy the Entire script properly from “checkTitles.js”
- Right Click on your Chrome Browser’s Bookmark Bar
- From bookmark bar right-click dropdown list >> Select Add Page..
- Once Select Add Page >> Edit Bookmark window will open
- You need to give a Name of the page (for example, I have given SERPTitle) >> Below in the URL session simply paste (Ctrl+V) the code that you copied earlier. >> Then click Save >> Now you can see the page name you had given in your Chrome bookmark bar (For me it is “SERPTitle”)
- Now Let’s go to the google.com search bar and search for anything. For example, I searched for “best place to buy iPhone 12”.
- Check the search results and the titles shown. Now Simply click on the Script you have bookmarked on your chrome bookmark bar.
- You can see somewhere the title showing with Red and somewhere in green color.
- Now it’s time to understand the difference between red and green color. Please try to understand from the below example and screenshots I have taken.
I shared the screen short for your reference and understanding
The screenshot I – This is how it shows to us earlier in search results.
Screenshot II Below– Once I clicked on the title change script page from my chrome bookmark bar (for me i.e; SERPTitle). I can see two things on the search result page.
Titles in Green Color – Google suggested the same title as mentioned in the website <title>. It could be because the on-page SEO optimization done is good as per new norms.
Titles in Red color – Google has changed the title in search results. Which is different from the website <title> or SEO optimization?
Here, Google suggested title is slightly different from the actual web page title. The red line is the original <title> on the website. But the title is too long which is against the basics of SEO on-page optimization.
Google changing web pages title in the search results page is definitely good for SEOs and business owners. The only thing we needed to follow was the basics of SEO for better ranking and a great click-through rate (CTR) on search results.
Still, you find it difficult to understand anything, please feel free to write me at email@example.com. I will happy to assist you.