When Google’s title change goes wrong.

Macy’s SEO is a column covering dirty, non-glossy tasks involved in auditing, planning, and optimizing websites, using MarTech’s new domain as a case study.


This episode of “Macy’s SEO” details my process of tackling the SERP title change in one of our most important MarTech pages. In Part 3, we talked about the tricks used to fix broken images, find the right alternatives, and ultimately improve the user experience.

Related: Navigating Google Title Changes: Rollout, What’s Happening Now and What You Can Do About It.

Analysis of Google SERP title tag changes

Since Google announced changes to its SERP page title generation process, SEOs have been trying to measure its impact, adjusting their strategies as needed. Many organizations noticed minor changes to their site’s title tags, but some did. Notable exceptions. Our team, in particular, noticed a major change in the link to the title of our MarTech mission page (the title of the search result in Google search).

Google’s revised SERP title link from November 13th.

The SERP title has been changed to “MarTech is Marketing Logo”, (shown above) which is extracted from the header logo Alt text of our MarTech site. While the original title link (shown below) was our chosen title (“What is MarTech?… This is MarTech”), Google chose to display a piece of alt text that gives very little context and clicks. Fails to encourage

Original SERP title link from October 27.

Review changes in clicks and CTR

Most of the MarTech SERP title changes we’ve seen haven’t changed much. As a result, their clicks, impressions, and CTR numbers have remained above expectations for the past few months.

But, we have our own “Martik?” Wanted to increase search metrics for. Page to see what effect an unwanted title change from Google has had, especially since it is one of our most visited pages. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t good.

Search Clicks and CTR Changes.

Knowing that the SERP title changed between October 27th and November 1st, we compared the November performance of the page with the October results. We noticed that the total clicks on the page decreased. 2,301 to 1,500 And the average CTR went up 3.1% to 2%.

Total impressions increased from 73,691 to 75,427 and the average position was 12.7. This means that changing the SERP title does not affect visibility or ranking (as Google has said it will not), but rather discourages people from clicking on the results.

Clearly, changing the SERP title hurts our traffic, so we need to find a way to deal with it.

Take steps to change the SERP title

Waiting for Google to automatically change the title is the last thing we wanted to do. We decided to take action immediately. Here are some of the ones we’ve tried so far.

  • Resubmit page We immediately resubmitted the page to Google through the Search Console. While this is unlikely to change anything, this opportunity always helps crawlers pick up page elements that they have missed – in this case, our title tag.
  • Update the title tag. Since it looks like there was a problem with the tag we selected in the algorithm, we made an adjustment. We were careful not to change it completely. It’s now. ”What is Martick? … MarTech Marketing. This version more clearly points to the topic of the page, which we hope Google will take note of.
  • Include contextual links. There are already a lot of internal links pointing to this page, but we wanted to make sure that Google has enough context. So, we’ve added more links to the page with contextual anchor text – keyword phrases like “what is martic,” “martic is marketing,” or just “martic” – to show the crawler that it What is the page actually?
  • Monitor SERPs We’re reviewing our title link to see if these changes helped. We will repeat these steps every week or two – as long as it takes time.

Have your title links experienced major changes in the last few months? What strategy have you followed and has anyone been successful? Email me cpatterson@thirddoormedia.com With the subject line “Macy’s SEO Part 4” to let me know.

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Read more about our new MarTech domain SEO case study.


About the Author

Corey Peterson is the editor of MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, it covers SEO and PPC industry news to help marketers improve their campaigns.

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