Thursday, December 2, 2021

Navigating Google’s title changes: The rollout, what’s happening now and what you can do about it - Search Engine Land

Last updated Friday, October 22, 2021 13:27 ET , Source: NewsService

In August, Google introduced a new system for generating title links (the title of a search result in Google Search). “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,” the company explained.

However, during the new system’s initial rollout, SEOs provided example after example after example of titles that not only failed to describe what the page was about, but may also confuse users and deter them from clicking through. Fortunately, the situation has since improved, but placing blind faith in Google’s new system can mean that you’re ceding control over a crucial aspect of your content, which could ultimately affect your business. Below, you’ll find a synopsis of how Google’s title changes have evolved, how you can verify whether your titles have been changed and what you can do to regain control over them.

Title changes: Then and now

A tale of two title changes. Google has been adjusting titles links for a long time. In 2014, the company explained that it might change a title to match the query (to a certain extent). This is an important detail because Google would later cite these historical practices as precedent for its new system — a justification that some SEOs found misleading as the magnitude and impact of the changes contrast sharply.

“[More recently,] I’m rarely seeing examples in the wild of noticeably worse rewrites for large-scale sites that...

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