I have no idea how I'm going to post this without giving any URL details - but I'll give it a go!
This may be something that people have already noticed but Google is starting to return results from our pages very differently. A couple of things it seems.
If you do a search with our brand name in it (we get around 400,000 unique visits a month), then the title of the result is as follows
"#*$!#*$!x - brand name"
The positioning in the SERPS hasn't changed at all.
Ok - so it seems that Google is recognising our brand, not changing our rankings (we've checked traffic and there has been no noticeable increase or decrease from google to specific pages)
That's the first thing - I suppose it's quite good as the title of the result has our brand which is searched.. useful to users..
The second thing though is that the title of the result is sometimes not the title tag of the page, or been taken from the page directly at all. It's like Google is looking at both the search and the result (our page) and then making its own title
If you search for "widgets" and if our title tag is "Blue widgets are the way forward" then generally we would rank top and the title of the result would be "blue widgets are the way forward"
Now however if you search "widgets brand name" then you receive the result with the title "widgets - brand name". This doesn't contain the text in the title (i.e. that it is about blue widgets).
If you do a more random search, without the brand name, then the result still comes up in same position, but the title of the result is still the title tag.
For me this seems to have huge implications - all of a sudden the title of a result is determined by Google and not what I as the editor of a site have written in the title tag of the site..
Has anyone seen this (I'm sure we're not the only ones!), and has anyone got any thoughts?