Google clarifies guide for title tags

Google clarifies guide for title tags

Google has updated the Search Central policy to control how it displays title tags in searches. The update did not change the guide itself, but it made it significantly simpler and removed several ambiguities in the wording that made it difficult to understand.

Google changes title tags

Title tags are metal elements whose purpose is to describe what a web page is about. They are also ranking factors.

For this reason, many publishers use the title tag to indicate which keyword phrases they want the webpage to be relevant to.

Google displays title tags on the search results pages (SERPs), making it even more important to use keyword phrases in the title tags.

Google wrote about title tags for years if the algorithms identified more descriptive text than the publisher provided.

The function for rewriting title tags in the search results increased dramatically in the summer of 2021, which led to anxiety in the publisher and search marketing environments. Many reported a decline in search traffic due to Google writing about their title tags.

One study reported that more than 61 percent of search results contained rewritten title tags.

Changes to the title label guide

On October 8, 2021, Google published a unique guide to controlling title tags, entitled, Check your title links in the search results (Archive.org snapshot of original tutorial here).

The updated changes to the title tag guide make clear what they meant when they used the word “heading. “

The word “heading”Is ambiguous because it can mean either the title at the top of the web page or a reference to the HTML header element (H1, H2, H3).

As it turns out, the original version of the guide used the word “heading”To mean both the title at the top of the web page and as a reference to the HTML header element (H1, H2, H3, etc.).

While the title at the top of the page is usually a headline item, the new version of the guide is more precise, as shown below.

Here is the original version:

“Make it clear which headline is the main headline of the page.”

This is the updated version of the guide:

“Make it clear which text is the main title of the page.”

Here is a paragraph from the following sentence in the original version:

“… and it can be confusing if multiple headlines have the same visual weight and prominent place.”

The recently clarified version:

“… and it can be confusing if multiple headlines have the same visual weight and prominent place.”

The original version of the third updated sentence:

“Consider making sure your headline is different from other text on a page and stands out as the most prominent on the page (for example, by using a larger font, placing the headline in the first visible

element on the page, etc). “

The updated version of the same sentence:

«Consider making sure that your main title is different from other text on a page and stands out as the most prominent on the page (for example by using a larger font, putting the title text in the first visible

element on the page, etc). “

As you can see, the clarification makes a big difference in making the purpose of the guide easier to understand.

The last change is in the section that describes what Google uses to determine the wording of a title link that appears in the search results.

This is the original:

“Visual headline or headline displayed on a page”

The updated version:

“Visual main title shown on page”

Google Title Tag Guide clarified but not updated

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the guide itself has not changed. What has changed is that the document is now less ambiguous and significantly more understandable.

Read the recently updated title tag guidelines here:

Check your title links in the search results


Featured image: Eugene Partyzan / Shutterstock

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