Imagine putting up a business sign and having the city come along and take it down. Not only that, but then they put up their own sign that advertises your business. Instead of being a Mexican restaurant, you’re now labeled as a Tex-Mex cantina. Think it can’t happen? Google is updating page titles that are displayed in search results. Your SEO content could be replaced with text that Google thinks is more relevant to the user. Here’s what to know and how to avoid getting your titles rewritten.
What Exactly Is the Title Tag?
The title tag is HTML code that tells the user and search engines what your page is about. It’s a sort of headline that gives people an indication about your page. Title tags also appear at the top of browser tabs, so a user can quickly access your page while they’re using multiple tabs. Title tags only display about 55 characters. Any longer and the search engine cuts it off. SEO copywriters use title tags to drive the right web traffic for the target keyword relevant to the page.
Why Is Google Changing Title Tags?
Google’s primary mission is to organize information for the user, not the content provider. According to Google Search Central, title tags can often be:
- Too long
- Stuffed with keywords
- Lack any title tag, such as being called “home” or “untitled”
The goal is to provide a better user experience by making sure the user knows what is on the page based on the content. Ideally, it should enhance readability and relevance, but as this change is rolling out, SEO marketers are finding that Google’s reworked titles aren’t always better than the original. Google is making adjustments to their system, but to stay in control of your content, it’s better if your SEO writers start with good titles.
Create Descriptive Titles
The way to avoid having Google change your title tags is to manage titles more effectively for your site. Make sure content writers are creating high-quality titles:
- Use a strong <title> tag for every page on your site.
- Each page needs a descriptive title. “Home” is not enough!
- Be concise and recognize that Google will only display up to 55 characters of your title.
- Avoid repeated titles across your site. Each of your pages needs a unique title for that page.
- Don’t place multiple keywords in the title. It looks spammy and doesn’t inform the user.
Google updates don’t have to wreak havoc in your SEO strategy. Follow best practices and create high-quality content relevant to your audience. Need help to create useful content for your readers? A content agency can help you create high-impact pages for SEO ranking and audience growth. Contact MintCopy for more information about our copywriting services.