Google explains why it made the title change to the search results

Google explains why it made the title change to the search results

Google said it went from using your HTML title tag 80% of the time to 87% of the time in the past couple of weeks.

Google has confirmed that it not only made a change to what title it shows in the search results but also disclosed how much of a change it actually was. For the past few weeks, Google it said it was using your chosen HTML title tag 80% of the time. Now Google said it is using as-is title tags 87% of the time, a 7 point increase: “Title elements are now used around 87% of the time, rather than around 80% before,” Google wrote.

Why the change. “We’ve used text beyond title elements in cases where our systems determine the title element might not describe a page as well as it could. Some pages have empty titles. Some use the same titles on every page regardless of the page’s actual content. Some pages have no title elements at all,” said Google. The company then listed off other reasons why it won’t use your HTML title tag:

  • Half empty titles
  • Obsolete titles
  • Inaccurate titles
  • Micro-boilerplate titles
  • and more.

Guidance. Google also gave some guidance on how to encourage the search engine to show your HTML titles: “Focus on creating great HTML title elements. Those are by far what we use the most.” Google reshared the help document on titles, that it recommended SEOs read. “Consider the examples in this post to understand if you might have similar patterns that could cause our systems to look beyond your title elements. The changes we’ve made are largely designed to help compensate for issues that creators might not realize their titles are having. Making changes may help ensure your title element is again used. That’s really our preference, as well,” the company also added.

But Google is not done and said, “Our work to improve titles will continue.”

Are titles getting better? Time will tell if these changes Google made actually made things better. We saw some SEOs earlier this week saying the titles were starting to look better. Dr. Pete Meyers from Moz recently published a large case study on the title rewrites as well, digging through this – but it is hard to say when Google made the changes and when the case study data was pulled from.

Why we care. If you noticed changes to your click-through rate from the Google search results, it may be related to these changes. Hopefully, those changes are positive since it is a win-win for Google to provide titles that its searchers want to click on. If not, Google said it will keep making improvements.

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