Why Is Google Changing My Title Tags?
Your title tags are the first thing that potential website visitors see in search engine results. While Google admits that title tags don’t affect your rankings, they can affect whether someone chooses to click through to your website or not.
If you’ve noticed that the titles in Google’s search results don’t match what you added to your website, you’re probably scratching your head, wondering why.
In this guide, we’re listing the top reasons why Google might be changing your title tags.
By knowing why, you can diagnose and tackle the issue.
Your titles aren’t relevant
Relevancy is key. If Google feels other text on the page is more relevant to a search query, they can replace your title.
How can you stop this from happening? Make sure the title is accurate – does it tell the searcher exactly what they’re going to find when they click through to the page? If not, it’s time to rethink your titles.
While you want to optimise your title tags for organic search, you shouldn’t use them as a keyword stuffing exercise. Make sure they read well and target one keyword at a time.
Your titles aren’t specific
Vague words are not favoured by Google. Examples include using ‘Home’ for your home page or ‘Profile’ for an employee’s profile page. Be as specific as you can.
Your titles aren’t unique
Every page should have a unique title tag – avoid duplicates.
Your punctuation choice could be letting you down! This may seem pedantic on Google’s part, but case studies have shown that using brackets or a pipe separator ( | ) means that your title tags are more likely to be changed by Google.
In fact, with brackets, Google has been known to completely remove the text inside.
Too long (or too short)
Be concise! Unnecessarily long titles are likely to get truncated when they show up in the search results. This typically applies to titles that are over 70 characters long.
A study reported that titles of more than 70 characters were changed 99.9 percent of the time and titles of 1 to 5 characters were changed 96.6 percent of the time.
In summary, you want to make sure titles are unique, accurate and relevant. And, avoid using brackets or the pipe separator. Follow these tips and Google should leave your title tags alone (for now!).
Google may still choose to change your tags, but if you follow these tips you should significantly reduce the chances of this happening.
We hope this guide has helped you get to the bottom of why Google is changing your title tags.