Most people know that Google can automatically change the Meta description for search result listings. It can display a sentence or phrases from the page content instead of the specific Meta description you added. But did you know that Google can even change and title for search result listings?
In this post, we’ll guide you about how often Google can change title tags, and reasons why Google decided to ignore a site-specified SEO title, and help you with best practices you can follow to reduce the likelihood of Google changing your title tags.
Why does Google change my SEO title tags?
If Google changes the text or paragraph in the title element, it has a positive impact on the general click-through rate of the website. Even if the page is optimized, Google can change the title for search result listings for several reasons.
Google believes that change the title can increase the relevancy of the search results or the user satisfaction they algorithmically change single words or even whole page titles. Doing so, Google will always take the search intention of the users as well as the actual keyword.
How to reduce the chances of Google changing your title tags?
To reduce the chances of Google changing your title tags, follow the following five best practices.
1. Custom SEO Title for Each Web Page
The first step is to create a custom title for each page to make sure Google shows a specific title for web pages in the search results.
When you skip this step, content management systems use the H1 tag from your page and show them as page titles for search result listings. For instance, “Home” or “About” such title doesn’t have a complete description of the information present on that page.
Most content management systems provide a way to add a specific SEO title for each page and post. If not, then you can make use of the plugin. For example, Yoast SEO is a popular free WordPress plugin that helps you customize your SEO titles and Meta descriptions.
2. Unique and Descriptive Titles
When writing titles for each web page, it is essential to ensure that each page has a unique one that describes what users will get on that page.
In some cases, some website owner writes an SEO title and uses it over and over again. It leads to poor user experiences that rely on the titles and search snippets to check if results will contain the information they are looking for.
If your web pages give the user a poor experience, Google will change your title or use content to show in the title for search result listings. Even it doesn’t show your website in the top result for that query.
3. Avoid Long titles
There’s a limit to the number of pixels. Google can currently display 580 pixels for SEO titles in the search results. If your title exceeds the pixel limit, Google may either overlook your title or truncate your title. It doesn’t fully display.
There are some ways to ensure that the SEO title you write displays in the search results.
You should follow the standard character limit set for it. It is 50-60 characters. Google uses pixel size instead of character count, so using the character count method is not that efficient to prevent titles from being truncated.
You could compare your title to what is visible in the SERPs. Check the longest untruncated title on page one of the search results, paste it below to compare your title, and adjust it.
Even users can make use of a preview tool. Moz has a Title Tag Preview Tool that you can use to test how your snippet will look in search results. Yoast SEO also has this feature.
Finally, it’s a good idea to look at how your snippet is visible in search results after it is published and indexed. If it is long and truncated you can shorten it and update it on a page.
4. Avoid Clickbait Titles
The phrase “clickbait titles” applies to black hat marketing tactics where the title a user sees before clicking through to a piece of content that is not related to it.
For example, the homepage title was “Best Italian Restaurant | Get a Coupon for a Free Meal,” but there was no free meal coupon available on the page. It is click-baiting because the website doesn’t provide the information as written in the page title. It is deceptive tactics that make your user go away.
The title you write for web pages should be as per the content on the page. Don’t try to trick your users with click-baiting or other means. Otherwise, Google will change the title for search results listings or remove your page from top rankings.
5. Avoid keyword stuffing in titles
Don’t stuff your titles full of keywords or repeat the same keyword multiple times. SEO title “Restauraria: The Best Restaurant in Newburg, KY” is far better and clear than “Italian Restaurant Newburg | Best Italian Restaurant in Newburg, KY.”
If you notice changes to your click-through rate from Google search results, the above can be the reason. Hopefully, those changes are positive. It will help you produces titles that are more readable and preferable in comparison to the old system.