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Rewriting Page Titles for Categories & Hiding them from The Hover Menu

5:52 pm on Jan 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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joined:Jan 14, 2011
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Hi all, Wasn't sure if this topic was covered elsewhere on WebmasterWorld but it's pretty straight forward (I think) and I just wanted to get some input on it before we made any changes to our site.

With keyword rich titles and SEO for google in mind, our site has been struggling to gain rank with our industry's most sought after key phrases, we tend to do well with the '2nd and 3rd tier' keyphrases or 'long tail' keyphrases. I believe this is due to the categories that contain the titles of these most competitive keyphrases are too far down int he sites overall structure (4-5 clicks to arrive, 2 dropdown menus from the homepage).

To combat this issue we wanted to consider renaming the page titles of all of our top categories. The titles would still be descriptive and non-deceptive and actually describe the category much better than the 2-3 word phrases we use now.

To explain, we have about 300 main categories of products that all appear in a hover menu on our homepage. These all place quite well in google (60-70% of them land on the 1st page of google for their exact keyword match).

Here's what we are proposing:
Current Titles: Red Widgets, Blue Widgets, Bright Green Widgets
New Titles: Red Soft Widgets, Blue Soft Widgets, Bright Green Soft Widgets

the keywords we were targeting before were keywords ending in 'Widgets', What we want is to target the keywords ending in 'Soft' without eliminating the word widgets.

Get the idea?

We assume that a change like this would not cause us any type of penalty, but I could be wrong, so i'd like some input.

Cloaking the new words in hover menu:Our main concern was how the hover menu would look and how we could keep it looking the same. We would like for the hover menu to still read 'Red Widgets' but for the page title, according to google, to read 'Red Soft Widgets' so we would have to have our developer cloak these new keywords. This is the part that gets fuzzy to me, as I'm not sure what the methodology of this would be and how google may view this action.

if anyone has any expertise in this area or any experience with making a similar change we would greatly appreciate some input on this before moving ahead.
12:12 pm on Jan 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

joined:Apr 30, 2007
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You could keep the main menu titles as they are and change the <title> tag of the landing page, is what google will look before deciding what to put with the search results. Keep consistency of keywords among link, title, meta-description tag and content.

If you have 300 categories consider listing the closest (most relevant categories) for each landing page. So if I am looking a page about blue widgets I am not interested in red widgets. A simplistic approach is when a category is accessed, the links to irrelevant categories do not show (like the old tree structure). Depends what you carry to setup this type of differentiation among categories and internal link structure.