Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Message Too Old, No Replies

Google Showing Out Of Date Titles in SERP's



9:27 pm on Apr 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Google has crawled the most recent update of a page (cache date is 2 days ago) and the updated page is showing in the SERP's. All OK.

But the title displayed in the SERP's is way out of date.... its been approx 6-8 weeks since the title was modified.

It this a common occurance or a one-off?


1:28 pm on Apr 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Google has been rewriting titles for quite some time. Perhaps Google thinks the old title is better fit for the query?

What happens with the title if you take couple of sentences from the page and search for these in quotes?


10:44 pm on Apr 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


The search for a block of text in quotes showed the correct title. I wonder if how the pipe character (vertical bar) is used in a title might influence Google's decision to change the title.

Google seems quite happy to accept titles that uses a description of the page content plus the company name, with the pipe used as a separator. eg.

Big Shiny Red Widgets | Red Widget Company

My case involved an arrangement where the pipe is basically being used to separate two sets of keywords. eg

Big Shiny Red Widgets | Cheapest Prices

With the benefit of hindsight, the title could just as easily read:

Big Shiny Red Widgets At The Cheapest Price

I wonder if examples like this give an insight into why Google changes titles?


11:46 am on Apr 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I think the change of title is connected with a query and not whether the keywords are separated by the pipe |

I had Google changing keywords where I used hyphen too.

You can try to change your title as you suggested (Big Shiny Red Widgets At The Cheapest Price ) and see what happens. But I think Google will still change the title anyway.

Note that after you change the title, it may take few weeks for Google to start changing title. I did notice when the title is changed, for a while Google displays it as is. It is almost as it needs to re-asses the page which may take the time.


1:58 pm on Apr 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I've been watching this closely. Starting on Friday the 11th, Google indeed seems to have made a big change in how they handle title display. We take SERP screencaptures every day of the same 10 terms. The title display was consistent for pages in the SERPS for months and then on the 11th many were different. When i compare Thursday to Friday there are 3-4 titles for each term that changed overnight.

As mentioned, it's nothing new that Google is altering display title from what is in the HTML, but it seems whatever mechanism they use to determine display was adjusted around the 11th of April and they're doing this more aggressively now.

I came here to post and ask myself, so comforting to know that others are seeing this as well. We'll need to keep testing to find out how we can fix in a scaleable way.


6:37 pm on Apr 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One of my clients just had the title of the home page changed from the company name to a poor description of the page. I am still investigating this but it is frustrating that Google decides that the site can't name it's own pages

Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month