One SEO professional asked John Mueller in a hangout about their page title tags.
So, a few days ago: they optimized their page title and description. After this change, they saw the page title and description changed when using the site: search on Google.
However, after a longer period of time, they found that the page title and description were back to the original one in the first place.
Their main question is: Does Google think the former page title and description are better than the one they had optimized?
John explained that he wouldn’t assume that if Google changes to something, that it thinks it’s better and that you should be using that one too. It’s more like: Google selected a different page title for the page. This doesn’t mean that it is better.
Usually, the page title is chosen on a per-page basis. So this would feel a bit weird if they showed one title first, then shifted to another title later on.
It may also just be that they shifted to an older version of the page for indexing and processing in general.
Then, they will shift back to the new version as soon as they can process that properly again.
From this perspective, John wouldn’t see it as a sign that what the SEO professional did was not perceived as being good by Google.
Just that it is being shown like that. One of the things they can do specifically with titles, because they’re based on the page itself and not on the query, is you can submit that page for reindexing and reprocessing. Then, once this is reprocessed, you can look at the title using the site: query search operator to see what the current page title is.
Then, you can use this process to fine-tune the titles that you optimized on your pages and see how Google actually shows this page title.
Does it change the words, does the separator make a difference (do parentheses or brackets make difference as the page title separator) and so on.
Doing this, you can optimize the page title to the best one for Google (and for you).
This happens at approximately the 00:50 mark in the video.