In an office-hour hangout, Google’s John Mueller answered the question of what algorithmic factors are used to decide title tag rewrites. Mueller offered suggestions for a proactive approach to dealing with the title tag rewrite problem.
What factors influence the title tag algorithm?
The person asking the question wanted to know what factors influenced Google’s algorithm to change title tags.
The title tag question is rewritten:
“In the summer, Google released an update to the generation of titles for web pages. Could you tell us what factors this new algorithm decides which titles need to be changed.
We have tried using the new documentation on this, but nothing seems to work.
The update affected some of our pages, most of the time it is a category page, its title is cut off and the brand domain name is added.
We have noticed that other sites in the search results have this problem at the same time.
We see that our main rival in the search results has the same titles that they have been using since before the update.
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John Mueller on fixing the title tag rewrite
Algorithm factors for title tag rewrites
The person asked what factors in the title tag algorithm determine when to rewrite title tags.
Google has already offered this information in the documentation on how the title tag rewrite algorithm works.
So Mueller suggested reading that. Mueller mentioned this fact and then offered advice on what this person should do if they are unhappy with the way their title tags are rewritten by Google.
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The person who asked the question mentioned that this seemed to happen with category pages, so the answer to why might be what Google calls “micro-compliant text in items.”
The catch-all in this situation means content that is repeated, as in a template. This is something that could happen in a category page that could make it less descriptive of what is on the category web page.
Or it could be that the existing title tag is just not precise, but rather a set of keywords that the publisher wants to rank for.
A very common title tag error is using the title tag to seed it with keywords instead of using it to describe the web page.
John Mueller answered the question:
“I think we have information in the last blog post we posted on these title changes. I would definitely check that out.
Title tags are no longer tied to an individual query
An interesting idea that John Mueller shared is that headlines are no longer tied to individual queries.
Mueller continued his response:
“One of the most significant changes that has taken place here is that the titles are no longer tied to the individual query.”
How to fix title tags
Mueller then went on to explain how to troubleshoot the title tag to find the best one.
“So it’s something that is really done on a page-by-page basis.
On the one hand, that means it doesn’t adapt dynamically. So it’s a little easier to test.
On the other hand, it also means that it is easier for you to try different things in the sense that you can change things on your pages and then you can use the submit indexing tool and see what happens in google search results, what does it look like now.
For this reason, it’s something I would recommend if you see weird headlines on your pages just to try different approaches and see what works, what’s best for your website, your content type, and based on that to extend that to the rest of your website.
So that’s kind of the direction I would take there, basically to try it out and try different approaches.
And because it’s really static on a per page basis, it’s something that’s a lot easier to experiment with a bit and see what the different options are that I can do.
here how do i display my business name or website name how do i display the title that is relevant here and all of these different things.
From that point of view, just try things out.
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Mueller continued his response, addressing the part about how competitor’s title tags are not rewritten by stating that Google does not target sites for title tag rewrite.
How to respond to title tag rewrites
Mueller did not elaborate on what he meant by “titles no longer tied to individual queries.” This might be a good question for someone to ask him during the office hours meeting next week.
He also indicated that it was possible to edit the title tag and submit the URL through the search console to see if Google reacted favorably to the changes.
Google Search Central Title Tag Documentation
Control your title links in search results
What to do about weird title tag rewrites
Watch Mueller discuss the title tag rewrites at the 12:41 minute: