Google May Change Your Page Titles

    December 4, 2009
    Chris Crum

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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