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For <title> should it be (Company Name) - KW?

     
6:08 pm on Sep 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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i have a few questions. A few weeks ago I changed my meta page title in order to rank on first page since I was in 13th position, then a few weeks later I'm at spot 55 and it's been like that.

1. Will changing the meta page title slightly affect rankings. I just want to change it once more.
2. Should be it be (Company Name) - Keyword or Keyword | (Company Name)
3. Or Keyword - Call to Action

Thanks
7:43 pm on Sept 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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The title tag should say what the page is about, and each page should have a different title.
7:48 pm on Sept 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Yes each page does have a different title, usually (Page title) - (Company Name)

I'm just curious about the home page since it ranks for a lot of keywords. I'm afraid that changing it one more time (i changed it 3 times in 2 months) will affect my main keyword, which is what our service is all about.
8:25 pm on Sept 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Are you saying that you were #13, then you changed the title and you dropped to #55?

After the drop, have you done any other changes to your title? For example, have you tried changing it back to what it was when you were ranking #13?
9:39 pm on Sept 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Yes it was (Company Name) | Widget Trade then I changed it to (City Widget Sub Trade | Widget Sub Trade2 and then it dropped to #55.

So since then I went to (Company Name) | (City) Widget Sub Trade3 and dropped the "Widget Trade"...now I want to change it to what I first had. Is that too many changes in a short period of time? I was sitting at 9-13 position for a good month until I changed it :/...I'd like to think it was not due to a simple change, but I dont know.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 10:48 am (utc) on Sep 24, 2016]
[edit reason] Exemplified keywords [/edit]

7:40 am on Sept 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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So - to be clear - you were ranking for '[location] Widget Subtrade' even though your title tag was just '[brand] Widget Trade'? You changed the <title> to better target that phrase?

Google does have a patent to detect tweaking and confuse people - [seobythesea.com...]

Also, John Mueller said this year that the <title> is less important than it has been and that the 'whole of the page' is the most important on-page ranking factor - [seroundtable.com...]

Another possibility is that other signals were fairly saturated for the phrase '[location] Widget Sub Trade' - perhaps it was already used extensively in the page, perhaps you have links using this phrase to the page. Adding it to the <title> might have been a step too far.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 10:50 am (utc) on Sep 24, 2016]
[edit reason] Exemplified as a result of original post being exemplified [/edit]

10:54 am on Sept 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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If you were ranking #13 for a some keywords and hoped to rank on the first page for the same keywords by changing the title, and as a result dropped 40 positions, then I would just go back to original title and hope for the best as it seems there is not much to lose.

You may get hit by the patent which FranticFish mentions above, but then you may not.
11:58 am on Sept 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Discussion of that patent on WebmasterWorld is here....

Google's Rank Modifying Patent for Spam Detection
Aug 18, 2012
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4486158.htm [webmasterworld.com]

You don't mention what kinds of queries dropped you to #55, whether this was one query or several. Possibly you just diluted or skewed the focus of your original targeting. What you describe sounds like the title looked to Google like it might have been stuffed with keywords. Or possibly the site has now aged enough that you're no longer in the "honeymoon period", which Google gives when a site is first put up, which provides an initial ranking boost.

I should ask, btw, whether this is the same site as the site we were just discussing in this thread. [webmasterworld.com...] ....about multiple related sites on the same server. I ask both because, in that thread, you describe a lot of changes made on the site... and because you say that the site has no backlinks.....

I wish I had the time to do SEO on all the sites, I did however change up the content, replaced old design with HTML5 responsive and they are still sitting on 5th page. No backlinks.

Particular the "no backlinks" could drop you way down in the serps, but none of the rest of what you describe sounds good. Whether Google is applying the spam rank modifying algorithm or not... and I believe I've seen them use it... simply the amount of fiddling you describe you're doing would confuse Google a lot. As tedster used to describe it...
It's good to follow the old carpenter's adage here: measure twice, cut once.

In the same discussion, Ted also added...
There is some evidence that frequent changes to title elements can cause problems.
Before you go out and get some immediate backlinks, btw, you might do some reading here about how the wrong kinds of backlinks can hurt you. Those are the kinds that are easiest to get artificially.
4:37 pm on Sept 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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The 90 sites were built by an seo and web design firm that did very little backlinking, only one of those sites had PR, local citations and a few niche directories backlinks.

I used that one domain in Google Webmaster to switch and 301 redirect to another separate website done for my boss (before the seo company) that was built with decent content and left alone, this site had tons of backlinks, but i disvoved them from google webmaster because they were all 404 pages, dead pages and spammy geobased anchor text links. That's our main site now.

I convinced my boss to use his old site that was ignored because it was broad based and brandable and would lead to a better CTR when ranking in other cities. I assumed there would be few people who would click on (city)injuryattorneys..../(city 300 miles away)-personal-injury-(...)/

Sorry for babbling just want to give a little history of what Im working with.

I only started this new job about 5 moths ago but started doing SEO 3 months ago. In those 3 months I got us into a lot of great niche sites with high DA and good TF, those include nolo/lawfirms, lawyers, findlaw, justia, but most of those sites allow for nofollow article postings which I've been active on, and I have writers do guest blogging into niche blogs with great metrics, and do follow, also yext for location citations. I try to keep my backlinks extremely clean. I have yet to do start a PBN but that's what working for all the guys ranking for the main keyword I was trying targeting in meta tag title that was at 13th positon with no effort of placing that keyword in meta page title. I seen ahrefs report and 80% is well crafted PBN's with awesome backlinks. I can only imagine what they paid for those expired domains.

The market is extremely competitive and the highest volume keyword is what I switched in page title to when I got the drop. I do focus on that keyword on home page with great content from my team. But when i did the meta page title switch is when I dropped from 13 to 55 and it's been there for weeks now.

I changed it again to original last night so we'll wait and see. I know I'm being impatient and maybe too focused on this particular geo based keyword for ego reasons. However I see us ranking great for high volume city pages that the 90 sites never ranked for. 3 months is probably too little to being worry about losing my job. I know it would make him happy to get on first page for that kw.

Sorry english is second language, i hope I make sense. I hope I'm on the right path. I'm just designer and coder. I do however have a 96 in mobile and 97 in desktop in google insights! :)
4:40 pm on Sept 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Sorry I meant I pulled up an ahrefs report on competitors and most are using awesome PBNs for over 3 years.