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Google stopped altering my two-word page titles

   
10:12 pm on Nov 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Whether this is old news or new news I don't know, but it's good news to me.

Until the last few days, two-word page titles typically had the site title added on in SERPS (for my own sites anyway). This was possibly affecting the page rankings by diluting the keywords. This seems to have stopped. Now, when I search for two-word phrases only those two words are shown as the title.
11:50 pm on Nov 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I can see Google-altered titles affecting your click rates, but not your rankings. What is your idea about it affecting rankings?
4:44 am on Nov 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I see this on my sites. two words and then my domain name. as for ranking im usually top 3 results. usually #1
5:23 am on Nov 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I see this on my sites. two words and then my domain name.

Did you also see it stop happening to your site, the way Patrick Taylor reported? Or is it still happening for your site?
8:18 am on Nov 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



What is your idea about it affecting rankings?


The pages affected seem to have improved rankings for a search on the two-word page title. They might have risen anyway of course.

When the page title is a person's name it doesn't make sense for Google to add another person's name (the site name) to the title.
9:12 am on Nov 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



For us the change that has been made has affected our rankings in a big way.
3:00 pm on Nov 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Interesting; it looks like some of the page titles that Google changed months ago are back to the ones I originally specified. Which is good.

But this is a strange one; I've had a turkey recipe that's been circulating around the net for over twenty years. Ranks fairly well for various phrases; the title tag is pretty straightforward. But this year, for almost every query I've tried, Google has added a big NETMEG on the end of the title. Not any of my domains (no TLDs) - just NETMEG.

That's kind of weird. I feel like I've been tagged.
3:51 pm on Nov 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Google has added a big NETMEG on the end of the title


It might have picked that up from the title of your blog page which links to the recipe page which ranks.
7:54 pm on Nov 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



instead of adding words on, google seems to be rubbing words out of our titles.

if i've got something like this, for example
"Red Widgets - Accessories for sale, with free delivery"

and i search for "red widgets", google will amend my title to this instead
"Red Widgets"

a two word title... identical to the search term. i dont even get my domain name

i don't see how that particularly helps the user, and its very annoying for us because the titles become bland
8:44 pm on Nov 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



It might have picked that up from the title of your blog page which links to the recipe page which ranks.


In my case the words added by Google to various page titles were the same as the home page title and the WordPress 'Site Title'. The latter is revealed only in the RSS and Atom Feed titles in document heads. I'd been thinking of removing those feeds for that very reason but there's no need to now.
6:14 am on Nov 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I continue to feel that Google is testing variations, not only of its types of title rewriting, but also of the specific title change as applied to a page.

In some cases I've seen, I've felt Google is trying to shift a searcher's perception of the kind of page it is, perhaps to gauge searcher intent... or more precisely, to apply their own perception of the kind of page it is via a title grabbed from within the page or an inbound link (and then to test that).

But in others, it appears Google is just trying to make the title more attractive to the searcher by adding the query phrase to the title.
 

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