Why does Google change page titles?

Google reveals new information about page title updates and explains why it replaces some titles and not others.

The page title update was released last month, replacing less than 20% of the titles in the SERPs with text that Google finds more relevant than the query.

Since the initial rollout Google has improved its system for creating page titles and now there is additional guidance for everyone.

New information about Google’s page title update.

Original titles are used more.

The original titles of web pages will be used more frequently after page page updates.

Original title elements are now used about 87% of the time, instead of 80% when the update first started.

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Why doesn’t Google always use original titles?

Google will change the title of pages to SERPs when it does not specify a page as well.

It’s been running since 2012, and Google’s latest update takes things a step further.

Here are some examples of what Google’s Page Title Update is designed to detect and adjust:

Half empty titles.
Google’s new system is designed to detect half-empty titles, such as a title that only shows the site’s name, and adjusts it by adding information found elsewhere on the page.

Abandoned titles.
The title of a page may be obsolete when the same page is used for recurring information year after year, but the title remains the same.

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This type of adjustment can be as simple as updating the year in the title and keeping the rest the same.

Wrong titles.
Sometimes titles do not accurately reflect what a page is. Google gives an example of animated content pages with titles like: Giant animals, teddy bears, polar bears – the name of the site..

This is an example of a static title for a page that dynamically changes with content. Some of these products may appear on the page and some may not.

Google can edit this title to make the page display more accurate.

Micro boiler plate titles.
Micro boiler plate titles refer to boiler plate title elements within a subset of pages within a site. Google’s system detects and adjusts these titles.

“Consider an online discussion forum about television shows. It can have areas for different shows, and then for each show, it can have areas for threads for individual seasons.

Micro boiler plate title elements appear on season pages. Headings omit season numbers, so it’s not clear which page is for which season.

This is an example of a micro boiler plate title:

Developers google.com, screenshot from September 2021.

Guided by Google.

Google’s guidelines for site owners regarding page title updates remain the same as when the update was first launched.

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Google often uses original titles, so focus more on writing great titles and less on the titles that Google is changing.

Finally, Google added:

“Furthermore, to understand the examples given in this post, consider whether you may also have patterns that may distract our systems from the elements of your title.”

The changes we’ve made are largely designed to help address issues that creators may not have guessed from. Making changes can help ensure that your title element is reused. This is indeed our priority.

Google can continue to improve its page title system even after this latest update.

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Source: Google Search Central


Featured Image: Dennis Dietel / Shutterstock.

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