Title tag is considered to be one of the most important parts of the on-page SEO strategy, you can easily find tons of articles on the importance of title and how it can affect your SERPs. All sounds perfect until I read the latest post on this topic by Barry Schwartz on search engine land that talks about Google ignoring the HTML Title tag more often.
Barry reported that there are several people in the webmaster world forums complaining about how Google is ignoring their created HTML title tags and using some other title tags then the one already available on the website.
The news was not shocking for me as I already knew that Google does that from time to time when the search engine Algorithm feels that the title created by webmaster is not relevant for the desired search query so it replace the title and generate some other title that may be extracted from Dmoz open sources directories and other sources.
According to John Mu of Google “In general, when we run across titles that appear to be sub-optimal, we may choose to rewrite them in the search results. This could happen when the titles are particularly short, shared across large parts of your site or appear to be mostly a collection of keywords. One thing you can do to help prevent this is to make sure that your titles and descriptions are relevant, unique and compelling, without being “stuffed” with too much boilerplate text across your site.” John Mu replied this on Google Webmaster help forum.
Matt Cutts also did a video on this that says ‘In order to provide the most relevant snippet Google may change the title and description of your website in the search results’.
So here comes the question, is this the death of title tag? Google is really no more care about webmaster’s created title tag?
Why not, try to go back in times when Meta keyword tag was one of the important ranking signal and people really care about how to add Meta keyword tag and how many keywords should be included in the meta keyword tag but with the time (Thanks to spammers) this tag become less important and now it’s no more a ranking signal, When one thing is possible for Meta keyword tag why not it is possible for HTML Title tag?
I don’t feel like this is the death of Title tag and I believe title tag is still as important as it was before. If you clearly look at the answer of John Mu and Matt in the video repeats the same that Google change the snippet only when they feel that the title created by webmaster doesn’t suites for the searched query and that can be possible for several reason for example, Short titles, irrelevant title and other reasons so in order to stop Google from this one should focus more on title tag and make it according to Google’s guidelines.
But still many webmaster complains that, “This is no good and titles and descriptions are for humans not Algo’s”. According to Barry’s post on Search Engine Land… One webmaster explained that he can craft a title much better than any algorithm. He said, “PEOPLE GET THE TITLE! ALGOs DON’T.”
What do you think Google should change the snippet from the one made my webmaster? Please feel free to share your thoughts!
Moosa Hemani is the Team Lead for SEO and working for a leading IT house. He works on the client side; develops and executes the SEO strategies for clients related to different industries like real estate, contracting, Restaurants and others.