Google May Change Your Page Titles

Google Will Change Your Title if it Doesn't Like it

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In case you were not aware, Google "reserves the right" to change the titles of your pages in search results. Google’s Matt Cutts has released a video discussing why and how they go about doing this.

Cutts says Google wants to show the titles that it thinks are most useful. "For example, suppose the title of your page is ‘Untitled’ or if there is no title. If that’s the case, we try to show a relevant, useful title."

"We reserve the right to try to figure out what’s a better title, what’s a more descriptive title or snippet to show the users," he continues.

According to Cutts, if you have a title that’s really long, they may still use that in their scoring, but in the snippet, they might try to find a "better title." This is presumably based on what the user is looking for.

As Cutts has said in the past, sometimes Google will use snippets right from the Open Directory Project (DMOZ). Sometimes, they’ll simply use snippets from the page or the meta description tag. "We do a bunch of different things to find the best description that we can," he says.

"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," he says.

Have you noticed Google changing your titles? Did they find better ones? Discuss here.

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Google May Change Your Page Titles
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  • http://www.laokay.com Adsense Publisher

    Google might have a legal standing to do so as they claim, but morally it’s bad.

    Displaying the content is one thing, but changing it is another.

    What ever happened to that Google just to penalized those people stupid enough to make a bad or deceptive title, or to leave one out entirely, like they always do?

    Most of the time Google is innovative and comes up with some great ideas, but other times, they make you scratch your head and wonder who the hell comes up with these ideas.

  • http://mtf-makingextramoneyonline.blogspot.com/ BrianMc

    I found this part of your posting very interesting…”Sometimes, they’ll simply use snippets from the page or the meta description tag.” Guess the part about “meta description tag” might settle some debates or rumors about Google doesn’t use the meta tags! Glad I came across this posting!

  • http://www.suriantech.com Adrian Kurup


    Its really useful post, b’cos in this days Google also want some thing change in its own database or reading structure.


  • http://www.technotate.com TechNotate

    Honestly, if a page is untitled, of course, adding a relevant title is ideal. Even in such situations where a title is rather lenthy, the situation serves a purpose for the greater good of the search engine’s users. However, for those remaining situations-those I have no concrete examples mind you- the idea of the search engine changing the web page title does not sit well.
    Unless such changes lead to increased organic traffic referrals. In such cases of spikes in visitor counts, who can complain?
    Somehow, I tend to think of this strategy as a given type of ‘censorship’. Although, as a long time fan of Google….I suspect there may be good reason for the engine choice to ‘optimize’ title tags. I suppose this is a wait and see situation.

  • http://www.tag44.com Tag44

    Its good that Google may provide the best title to the untitled page and give the best result to its users.

  • http://ebook-site.com Bryan Quinn

    What Google thinks or rather what is inferred by their algorithms is not always correct.

  • http://www.attorneyservicesetc.com/ Chris

    I think google must change only the irrelevant and suspicious ones. It’s a warning for SEOs to be careful in assigning meta tags.

  • http://www.nazcarpine.com N-Designs

    it looks great for me but a little worried with SEO and current rankings with specific keywords.

  • http://www.websitesfreeway.co.uk Websites Freeway

    Why worry about this? As long as the title is relevant to the web page and not stuffed full of spam, Google would have no reason to change a title. If the page title is missing, it is likely Google would find words for a title from the web page content.

  • http://rapidcoolrooms.com.au Andrew B

    it just goes to show that meta tags do have some relevance after all and they are important to use on your page. I use them ‘just in case’ google do as well. Looks like they do from this article.

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