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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Google Changing Titles in Results

Mike Blumenthal writes:

Is Google replacing Title Tags on the main Google results page with Business names?

I have a local client, Napoleon Engineering Services ...

I am not sure if Google is experimenting or not but on a recent trade name search for Napoleon Engineering, to retrieve my client’s phone number I noticed that Google had completely replaced the web page title tag with their business name from the Maps index.

I can reproduce this: searching for napoleon engineering brings up a page which Google titles “Napoleon Engineering Services”, whereas clicking on the Google cache or the actual page shows the title “NES - Custom Bearing Testing & Bearing Inspection- home - ball bearing testing”.

I also noticed Microsoft’s search contender Bing changing titles in results quite a bit, though in Bing’s case that’s often to the detriment of readability. In above case with Google, the new title might make more sense to people searching for “Napoleon Engineering”...

[Thanks Mike!]

Update: Google’s John Mueller comments:

We may choose to replace titles which are repeated on a number of pages or which otherwise appear to be suboptimal – that’s probably what’s happening here. To resolve that, it would be a good idea to make sure that the titles are unique, compelling and relevant to every page and that the important parts are visible in the first part of the title text. You can get some help with finding duplicated titles in Webmaster Tools under Diagnostics / HTML suggestions.

[Thanks John!]


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