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A site of mine, ranking 3 for our 11M target phrase (so 100% happy no penalties) Good clean, all round content site
As of today, the search returning the results now does not bold the keywords in the title of our listing.
In fact, it isn't just our listing affected about 50% of the listings do not have bolded keywords despite them apprearing in the titles / descriptions.
Is this new or did I just totally miss this before?
There's a chance that it might say something about Google's interpretation of the search query, but I've not really seen much to suggest that.
In my example, none of the keywords searched on are highlighted in the title. In the snippet only some of the keywords are highlighted.
For example: If the phrase searched is "Widget1 Widget2 Widget3 Widget4"..
None highlighted in the title even if all are there. In the snippet Widget1 is NOT highlighted while Widget2, Widget3, and Widget4 are all highlighted separately and as a phrase.
It's a very odd phenomenon and I'm wondering if it is indicative of something else.
[edited by: Philosopher at 3:18 pm (utc) on Aug. 13, 2008]
In one area I watch, an article appeared on one of the social network sites that caused it to rank quite well for a few phrases. When it was ranking well, the keywords in the title of this result were all bolded as they should be.
Now, a few days later, that listing has dropped significantly in the SERPs and when looking at the listing, the keywords in the title are no longer bolded as they were/should be.
So far, I've seen two similar examples and it doesn't seem to just be new sites/pages. While it seems to happen more to newer pages, I have some pages on my affected site that are over a year old that this has recently happened to.
In going through some WW searches, I do see this thread [webmasterworld.com] back in '03 started by soapystart that seems to be similar in nature to what is currently happening.
I am still researching this.
I have found no reason to believe so far this could be "penalty" related. Although it may be user relevancy related.
Perhaps it is google trying to understand the difference between their #1 and a users prefered result. Is google trying to manipulate clicks to gain understanding in this?