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10 Ways To Stop Google From Changing Page Titles

You might have seen the annoying habit of Google to rewrite your <Title> tags in Search results. This algorithm has effected publishe...

Stop Google From Changing Page TitlesYou might have seen the annoying habit of Google to rewrite your <Title> tags in Search results. This algorithm has effected publishers from all platforms. All BlogSpot and WordPress blogs have their page titles replaced with different keywords. Sometimes Google could even add your homepage URL to the end of a title tag. Just recently we observed the Home Title of our blog modified completely inside Mobile search results. This really annoyed us and we dig down to make some changes to our blog template to reduce the chances of an automatic title change. Out of many options, 4 of our tested experiments and 6 proposed by Google have remarkably improved our search appearance and really helped in displaying the original page titles in search results that we used for our blog posts.  The SEO configurations below are not limited to Blogger blogs and can be easily applied to any website you are running with slight modifications. Today's post will prove that you are responsible for 70% of the times your Title tags look different in Search results and the remaining 30% of the times, its Google who can be blamed.

Why is Google Changing your Titles in Search Results?

We refer few when it comes to taking authentic SEO tips and Matt Cutts is one of them who is Google's Webspam team head. First view his video below to get a clear idea of how Google picks rich snippets for your blog or website.

Google gives the following explanation of why it changes your Title tags:

If we’ve detected that a particular result has one of the above issues (refering to point 1-6 of this tutorial) with its title, we may try to generate an improved title from anchors, on-page text, or other sources. However, sometimes even pages with well-formulated, concise, descriptive titles will end up with different titles in our search results to better indicate their relevance to the query. There’s a simple reason for this: the title tag as specified by a webmaster is limited to being static, fixed regardless of the query. Once we know the user’s query, we can often find alternative text from a page that better explains why that result is relevant. Using this alternative text as a title helps the user, and it also can help your site. Users are scanning for their query terms or other signs of relevance in the results, and a title that is tailored for the query can increase the chances that they will click through.

I guess the above explanation is self understandable and I am sure you might be thinking "How can a robot decide what should be the title of my page?"

I can agree with you for 70% of the times but if you read this tutorial further you will realize that our unwilling SEO mistakes is forcing Google to correct these mistakes in order to provide better search experience to its users.

Following are some possible tips recommended by Google (1-6) and us (6-10) that you must follow in order to write high quality titles to make sure your webpage titles are not modified by search robots.

1. Every Page Must Contain a <title> tag.

I am sure even a newbie publisher would know that but I can still see thousands of pages with no title tag inside the document head. Most people think using <h1> tag is enough but that is not true. Title tag defines your primary title and is a must to use.

2. Titles Should be Descriptive

Like in the video above Matt recommend that instead of writing vague descriptors like Starbucks Homepage they could avoid using homepage and instead utilize a more better keyword like Coffee. If you search Starbucks website today you would see they have now applied this tip:

Incorrect Title:

My Blogger Tricks - Homepage

Correct Title:

My Blogger Tricks


3. Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Avoid using repeated keywords or using phrases multiple times. Keyword stuffing is spam and is a serious SEO sin. A title like "Flash Disk, USB Disk, USB, USB Drive" doesn't help the user. Do you really think, someone can fool search engines with such black hat SEO techniques in 2016? Of course such titles deserve to be regenerated automatically by Google itself.

4. Avoid Repeated or Boilerplate Titles

Comma separated information ("boilerplate" titles) are also bad because they contain a lot of uninformative text. Just simply use your brand name as the homepage title or add a meaningful phrase but not comma separated keywords for God sake! If you do so, Google will be forced to rewrite your title tag or even consider you as keyword spammer.

Incorrect Title:

MY Blogger Tricks - Find Templates, Widgets, Plugins, SEO Tips etc.

Correct Titles:

MY Blogger Tricks - Start a blog!

MY Blogger Tricks - Your Guide to Blogging

MY Blogger Tricks - Your Blogging Guru

or simply the brand name itself if it is descriptive:

MY Blogger Tricks

In our case since our blog domain is a tag line itself so we have just used "My Blogger Tricks" with no additional punch line.

5. Brand Your Site Title But Avoid It On Every Page

You can create a homepage title like "Brand: Some 2-3 words Tag line". Show such descriptive title only on homepage but don't add it in every blog post. Adding up your brand name in every webpage also does not makes sense. It hurts readability and forces google to either truncate that long title or regenerate a new concise title for you.

Incorrect Post Title:

10 Ways To Stop Google From Changing Your Page Titles - My Blogger Tricks

Correct Post Title:

10 Ways To Stop Google From Changing Your Page Titles

6. Backlinks Can Help Generate Titles For Private Sites

Even if you have noindexed your site, Google can still access it from your backlinks and generate titles for your blog based on the anchor text. If you don't want to appear in search then use the meta tag to noindex your content and not the robots.txt file.

Our Recommendations

The tips below are some of the solutions that we tried as experiment and it worked just great Alhamdulillah.

7. Title Too Short

Google typically displays the first 55-60 characters of a title tag which includes spaces, commas and everything in between.  But if your title is extremely short (less than 15 ) then Google will concatenate your Homepage title with it or your URL or regenerate a completely new title.

Our Advertise Page has title "ADVERTISE HERE" but google displays it as shown in the screenshot below:


Your About/Contact/Sitemap/Advertise pages can surely contain short titles and even if Google adds up your homepage title next to it then it wont be much of the problem but you would really not like Google to start treating your blog posts or articles like this! So make sure your Content pages where you post articles must have a descriptive title with a character count of no more than 60 characters.

Incorrect Post Title - Too Short:

Google Changes Titles

Correct Title:

10 Ways To Stop Google From Changing Your Page Titles

8. Avoid adding Blog Title In Every Page

Here I will share the solution to Tip#5 and will also elaborate it.

In custom Blogger templates most designers due to insufficient SEO technical skills, often add blog title next to every Page on your blog which includes the Posts and Static Pages.

Your main website title can be added in every page only if your Domain name is short and precise i.e One word domain names. But if your domain consists of 2-4 keywords then it is recommend that you avoid adding it on every single page.

Since our domain name consists of 2 keywords i.e. "My Blogger Tricks" which is self explanatory therefore we have not added it to the title tag of posts, which thus stops the post title from looking too long in search results over 60 Characters.

To optimize your Blogspot Titles, follow these steps:

1 Go To Blogger > Template

2 Backup your template

3 Click Edit HTML and search for this code or similar to this:


<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;index&quot;'>
<data:blog.pageName/> - <data:blog.title/>


4 Replace the above code with this optimize Title tag code

        <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;index&quot;'>

5 Save your template and you are free from worries!

9.  "Next" or "Previous" text displayed In Your Titles

This is yet another SEO mistake done by most bloggers and I will write a complete new post on this issue to help you fix it. The post will be published shortly this week. I will update this point shortly.

UPDATE: This post has been published:  Is Google adding Next/Previous text in your titles?

10. Stop Google From Changing Your Homepage Title

If one of your pages happens to receive most of the traffic, Google could consider the keywords inside that post and some others to coin up a new name for your website or blog! Google completely changed our home title to "Blogger Widgets" in mobile devices just recently which really annoyed us. Upon searching we explored an easy fix which uses JSON to tell Google "Do not mess with my title!" This fix can be applied only to homepage.

This interesting trick will be shared this week and details will be added in this section. Stay tuned for the updates. I will update this point shortly.

Need Help?

If you have any questions related to any of the points above, please feel free to post your queries in the comment box below. I just hope I could clearly explain all the possible reasons that is causing automatic changes in your page titles that appear in SERPs. All these tips have helped us increase website search traffic by 20% recently and I wish it may equally benefit you as well. Do share your feedback and queries. Peace and blessings buddies! =)



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Experience Lab - Online business creation and development guide for bloggers and startups: 10 Ways To Stop Google From Changing Page Titles
10 Ways To Stop Google From Changing Page Titles
Experience Lab - Online business creation and development guide for bloggers and startups
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