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Can Penguin Be Confirmed By Altered Homepage Titles?

     
4:20 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hi All,

I feel the latest information I've discovered deserves it's own thread in order to help people get a better understand to the latest Google algorithm update "Penguin". Many people in the SEO industry agree that this latest update is basically an over optimisation penalty.

But how can Google's algorithm detect over optimisation?

This is the question I've been asking myself since the infamous update & today I've discovered some startling results.

I've found a phenomenon that can confirm your website is officially "penalised" & forced into over optimisation in order for
Google's algorithm to detect.

Follow these steps if you think your site has been penalised by this latest "penguin" update.
(If your site has disappeared or lost ranking by 30-70 pages)

1. Type in your domain name into Google - mysite.co.uk

2. Now tell me what page title it shows for your site in the serp?

3. Now tell me what your actual page title is for your website?


Is Google trying to tell us something or is this the only way Google's latest algorithm update can detect Over Optimisation?

Thanks,
J
5:27 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm glad this go it's own thread - So here is an example on how to confirm if your site has been penalised by Penguin.

Let's say your website is www.mysite.com
Page Title - Visit my site - It's great

Type in your website into Goolge - mysite.com
If your website has an over optimisation penalty the serp will show your page title as "my site" or the word it feels you are over optimised for*

When in fact your actual page title is "Visit my site - It's great"
5:29 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I don't think so; Google's been changing page titles to suit the query for at least a couple years now. I have #1 rankings where they've changed the title tag. Infuriating, but I don't think it's a Penguin dropping. At least, it's not *only* a Penguin dropping.
5:41 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Penguin droppings?

Guano. Like the SERPs.
5:48 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Interesting:

The page on my website that I presume got #*$! on by Penguin has a completely different title tag than what's there.

eg: I did a search in Google for:

Keyword mywebsite.com

The title tag showing in the SERPS was changed to the keyword that I just searched for(not the title tag listed on the website)

However, I changed the title tag of my website a week or so ago, so Google may still be reflecting the old (optimized for the keyword) title tag.


When I do a search as described in OP's post for my home page, it's showing the proper title tag.
6:29 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Google has been changing titles for a while, for some pages. I have a Penguinized site that still shows my <title> in the serps, even when doing the search you describe.
7:18 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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When I do what you suggest, Google has indeed changed my title to the phrase that I optimize for. However, my site is sitting at #3 for that term so I think it's unlikely that I am being penalized.
10:39 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Shouldn't the noodp meta tag stop google from messing with your titles?
11:18 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Not any more. That just prevents them from using the old DMOZ titles.