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Keywords instead of titles appearing in results
Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4513045
 8:15 pm on Oct 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

While looking at Google news, and later in regular search results with time set to newest, I noticed several articles that didn't have titles but instead had a comma delimited list of keywords.

example of an article title: "Hurricane, Sandy, storm, cyclone, Ontario"

That is the title assigned to the article (for the Toronto Star newspaper in this case) by Google but it is not the title of the article. You'll notice the capitalization is not on every word and in the article these are the KEYWORDS, not the title.

Do keywords matter again? If Google is using the keywords as page title(complete with capitalization differences between words) instead of the article title assigned by the author then the meta keyword may indeed be relevant, it was for these articles today anyway. Should I start assigning keywords and a meta keyword tag to my pages again?

 

Robert Charlton




msg:4513047
 8:36 pm on Oct 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Am I correct, Sgt_Kickaxe, that these aren't meta keywords... more likely on page keywords that one occasionally sees on publicly published or intranet articles, sometimes on reference sites? Also, are these articles from a common source? I sometimes put keywords in text files on my computer to help me find them later.

I'm guessing that this is a title renaming glitch, perhaps even a publishing glitch followed by a title renaming glitch. My guess is that Google ranked the article(s), didn't like the title(s), searched the page itself, and found a keyword list high up on the page which fit the query, and grabbed it. It may even be that the keyword lists weren't intended for publication, but somehow ended up there.

I wouldn't assume that this is a trend.

thedonald123




msg:4513120
 2:13 am on Oct 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not sure if this related to what you're seeing, but when the Title tag is too long, Google sometimes replaces the title in the SERPS with the URL of the page, including any hyphens etc.
I just saw this 2 days ago in Google's SERPS for a page on my site.
Does the page in question have a title that is abnormally long?

Errioxa




msg:4513122
 2:49 am on Oct 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I did a test to know how Google values keywords in title.

I wrote 14 kw invented. Cero results in the serps for each word.

The title has 170 characters, in 14 keywords.

When I search for the first keyword Google shows me my title tag in serps , however If I search the last keyword (from the 6th kw), Google shows me a different title, In this case the H1 that does not match with the title tag.
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:41 am (utc) on Oct 28, 2012]

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4513125
 4:08 am on Oct 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

[thestar.com...] they are the keywords in the meta keyword section of the page. The page has a proper title which isn't too long, and it's very descriptive and accurate, but that was ignored and Google converted the meta keywords into a title. They don't appear on the page anywhere else.

*update* Google rankings have adjusted the title to be the real title again though many scraped articles still carry the old meta keywords for their title. What a great way to weed out the scrapers!

indyank




msg:4513128
 5:11 am on Oct 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

They might not have come from the meta keyword tag. The URL also has the set of words. Strangely I even notice a comma in that URL! Not sure whether you added it while posting it here but the canonical tag looks OK.

Robert Charlton




msg:4513168
 8:55 am on Oct 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

they are the keywords in the meta keyword section of the page

The capitalization is the same as the list you posted. That said, there are two meta keywords elements on the page, and the first set is empty. The list isn't repeated on the page. An interesting glitch.

They might not have come from the meta keyword tag. The URL also has the set of words.

Capitalization in the url is different, though the list is the same. Comma is not in the native url. The url resolves with or without the comma, though, and isn't redirected. Haven't checked the header response.

Robert Charlton




msg:4513344
 6:17 am on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I wrote 14 kw invented. Zero results in the serps for each word.

The title has 170 characters, in 14 keywords.

When I search for the first keyword Google shows me my title tag in serps , however If I search the last keyword (from the 6th kw), Google shows me a different title, In this case the H1 that does not match with the title tag.

Errioxa - Thanks for the summary of your results. It would make sense on a long title that Google would attempt to return a version where the keyword in the query is displayed. 170 characters almost three times the normal c64-character length that Google displays. Display length determined by various factors, including width of characters in the title. Long titles are very likely to be edited.

The idea of using invented words is ingenious. I'll have to compare what you report with what I've been seeing in a serp I've been watching, as I describe in this thread below. The display is determined by semantic relationships, and perhaps also by the rules your test illustrates. Check out my several posts in this thread...

Google is now rewriting all my page titles
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4480232.htm
[webmasterworld.com]

The display of the meta keywords that Sgt_Kickaxe reports is another twist to all this. Conceivably, the keyword list was the only place where the queried terms were found. (Sgt... is that the case?) We have seen evidence in the past year that Google will go to the meta keywords as a last resort... but I've never considered them as a source for title content. I'm still guessing it was a glitch.

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