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Surprisingly, it is working. The SERPs actually show the title related to the keyword in the snippet.
Go figure...I would have thought it easy to filter for only one <title>.
Hmmm... I wonder how many titles could be crammed in there and still have this work? No need for doorway pages. Heck, no need for content either - the page in question has less than 50 words of text and is image based. Multiple titles and a few blog links is all it takes.
Looks like the extra title tag was added in early 2003. Yes, over a year ago.
So, either G is handling this differently now, or I just haven't seen this prior to today. Either way, there certainly has not been any penalty invoked.
Throughout the fiasco days of Florida-Brandy this site rated very well, which drove me batty given the low PR, lack of links and small amount of text.
There are actually two sites, both done by the same firm, but owned by different clients, that rank surprisingly well in G in this niche. I have been scratching my head over them for some time. One breaks all the rules, but has links galore. Then there is this one with multiple title tags, blog and guestbook spam, etc.
It is the handling of the title tags that I find interesting. Has anyone else seen G do this, i.e. select the title tag appropriate to the search term? Or, is this one of those secrets that shouldn't get out?
The traffic flowed. And flowed and flowed.
Then after some time it came to my attention that there had been no sales whatsoever for items contained on that page. Turned out that without the title tag closed, the page would not display in the web browser, thus the lack of sales.
Google had indexed BOTH titles.
A search for keyword one returned a snippet with <title 1>
A search for keyword two returned a snippet with <title 2>
That is what was so interesting. I too have seen plenty of bad html out there. I hadn't seen G do this.
This morning <title 1> is showing for both searches.
Gremlins I suppose...