Google changes more than 61 percent of title tags

Page titles have a big impact on click-through rates because they provide important context to search engines, but a recent study shows that Google paraphrases page titles more than 60 percent of the time.

A recent study on analyzed more than 80,000 title tags from 2370 websites to determine how many of the website title tags were used in search results. They discovered that the search giant at least partially rewrote 61.6 percent of title tags.

Further research showed that certain factors contributed to the chances of a title tag being rewritten. Google’s goal is to provide searchers with the best title tags to put the webpage content in context. If the title tag isn’t good enough, Google’s algorithm will change it.

This is often frustrating for website owners and SEO specialists who spend a lot of time creating the perfect title tag. Google changes ranged from a single word to a complete rewrite of the title tag.

Page Title Change Factors

There is hope for sites that want page titles to be used unmodified. The study showed that certain factors make Google more likely to rewrite the title tag, but that doesn’t mean following these rules is a guarantee.

Titles too short or too long

The ideal page title length is between 50-60 characters. If the page title is too long, Google will truncate the search results, resulting in a negative user experience, and short titles will not provide searchers with the information they need.

Of the more than 2,370 websites analyzed, Google rewrote more than 95 percent of the extremely short and long title tags. Page titles longer than 70 characters changed 99.9 percent and titles 1 to 5 characters changed 96.6 percent.

It makes sense that Google paraphrases extremely short and long page titles to allow for a better understanding of site content. The ideal title length was 51-60 characters, changing only between 39 and 42 percent of the time.

brackets and brackets

Many websites use brackets and brackets to emphasize page titles, but Google is much more likely to change your title when you use brackets. The search engine changed the page title with brackets 77.6 percent of the time and completely removed the words between the brackets 32.9 percent of the time.

Parenthesis did significantly better at 61.9 percent, on par with most titles, and only 19.7 percent of the team removed the words between the parentheses.

title separator

Title separators like colons, pipes, and hyphens are common ways to split titles, but Google isn’t a fan of pipes. The study showed that it replaced or eliminated the pipe 41 percent of the time, but removed dashes only 19.7 percent of the time.

The whistle change most often consisted of removing the whistle and replacing it with a dash.

other factors

Google is all about information, so using too many keywords, using the same titles for multiple pages, and using brand names unnecessarily often led Google to make changes.

Can you prevent Google from making changes?

SEO professionals and website owners often create specific page titles and want them to appear that way, but there’s no way to guarantee Google won’t change them. In a recent Twitter thread, Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller said that a mechanism to prevent Google from changing metadata is unlikely to become available.

However, there is a light at the end of the metadata tunnel. H1 tags are an important ranking factor for Google and matching the H1 to the title, even when including frequently changing factors like pipes, lowered the likelihood of rewriting to 20.6 percent.

Featured Image: FP Creative/Shutterstock

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