Did you know that Google “reserves the right”
to change your website page titles in search results? Matt Cutts of Google has published a short video
explaining their reasoning for this move.
In the video, Matt Cutts explains how Google want to show page titles that they think are more useful to search results and users alike. An example Matt gives is when a page title is “Untitled” or if there is no title at all, Google will show a relevant one related to the page. From a user’s point of view, this is a welcome move to improve search results by giving useful information.
“If you have a bad title or a title that we don’t think helps users as much, we can try to find a better title, and one we think will be an informative result so that users will know whether that’s a good result for them to click on,”
says Matt Cutts.
In addition to the above, if a page title is deemed to be too long, Google can still show its own version in the form of a snippet to users. Matt Cutts has said Google “do different things to find the best description that we can.”
Google use snippets from different sources such as from web page content, meta description of the page and even DMOZ (the Open Directory Project).
In terms of SEO, this shouldn’t effect page titles that have been search engine optimised as these will ideally be descriptive, related to the page and the correct length.
The change is more to improve search results for users rather than penalising web pages.
Has anyone noticed their own page titles change on Google?