It should come as no surprise that Google prioritises “readable and accessible” content. With the help of our google page titles guide, make sure that your content should always be clear and easy for everyone to understand – the search engine juggernaut has been reviewing page titles since 2012.
Back in August, they rolled out new changes that further affects the way certain page titles appear in SERPs.
Titles that are clickable in SERPs are now known as title links, distinguishing them from meta titles. These can be set in the <title> element. Google uses these title links as a ranking factor for your page.
“The recent updates intend to ensure that all title links in SERPs are clear, informative, and applicable to the page content. That means some may be altered by Google to text they deem more relevant to a query.”
Google says: “The changes we’ve made are largely designed to help compensate for issues that creators might not realise their titles are having. Making changes may help ensure your title element is again used. That’s really our preference as well.”
Google page titles in 4 points
When assessing your title links, Google will take several factors into account, including the content on the page and web references. Google’s latest update will adjust title links when they fall short of being informative and accessible in their eyes. This could be for several reasons, including your title:
- being incomplete or not descriptive enough
- appearing out of date and not updated to reflect new content on the page
- not matching up with the content on the page and therefore, being inaccurate
- using repeated boilerplate text
All Response Media Viewpoint
Less than 20% of titles in SERPs are expected to be replaced as part of these latest rollouts. Google has also released some best practices for site owners to follow. Many of these already reflect existing guidelines for meta titles, so the number of affected pages could be even lower.
AVOID GOOGLE ALTERATIONS
To avoid the title links of your pages being altered by Google, you simply need to make a few checks and updates where necessary. Ensure that every page has a unique title, which can be specified in the <title> element. Don’t make the title too lengthy, or you could risk it getting cut off in SERPs or amended by Google as part of these updates.
MAKE TITLES DESCRIPTIVE
Make your title descriptive, so visitors know what to expect when they click through to your page. Keep the tone of voice natural and readable: don’t over-stuff it with keywords. Finally, add brand awareness by including the name of your site within the title.
Remember, “readable and accessible” content isn’t just about ticking boxes for Google. It’s also about being as user-friendly for your visitors as possible.