Google publishes the latest best practices for creating SEO optimized page titles, including tips on how to prevent wrong titles from appearing in search results.
The way page titles are generated in search results has changed in August.
Google has released an update designed to replace some SERP page titles with more “readable and accessible” text.
Google’s page title update is said to affect less than 20% of page titles.
Although the numbers may decline further as websites begin to follow Google’s new suggestions.
In a new document in the “Advanced SEO” section of Google Search Central, the company offers a set of revised best practices for writing page titles.
Google also lists the most common issues that lead to page title replacement.
This shows Google’s updated guide to what is now known as the “Title Link”.
Best Practices for Writing Title Links by Google
- Create unique titles for each page and avoid boilerplate text.
- Make sure every page on your site has its own title specified in the <title> element.
- Write descriptive titles and avoid vague text such as “Home” for the home page.
- Keep titles concise and avoid unnecessarily long text.
- Brand your titles when appropriate by appending the name of your site to the front of them.
- Don’t repeat text in titles for the sake of adding more keywords.
Tappable titles that take users to search results pages are now called title links.
Formerly known as the meta title or just the page title.
Both meta titles and title links can be different text, even if they are page titles, so it’s useful to use a new term to distinguish them.
By writing a descriptive text in the <title> element, you can set what Google will display as a title link.
Whether Google uses a title of your choice or a different title, the text in the <title> element will be used for search rankings.
Al.so read: how many pages a website should have
How to Avoid Common Issues With Title Elements?
- Inaccurate: The title element doesn’t accurately reflect the main content.
- Obsolete: The title has not been updated to reflect an update to the main content. This discrepancy could occur on something like yearly roundup article that uses the same URL year after year.
- Incomplete: Titles are half-empty or missing any kind of descriptive text. Example: <title>| Site Name</title>
- Micro-boilerplate text: There’s repeated boilerplate text in the <title> elements for a subset of pages within a site.
Even if you avoid all issues and follow all best practices, Google may decide to replace your preferred title with another title.
If so, Google will probably get the text from here.
How Google Suggest Title Links?
- Main visual title or headline shown on a page
- Content in <title> elements
- Heading elements, such as <h1> elements
- Anchor text on the page
- Text within links that point to the page
- Other text contained in the page
- Other content that’s large and prominent through the use of style treatments
The title link on the Google search results page takes into account both the content of the page and the link that appears on the web.
Google strives to display titles that better represent and describe each page.
Source: Google Search Central