During a hangout, one SEO professional was concerned about the ‘Titlegeddon’ update that came out over the summer.
They wanted to know about the specific factors that may have changed as a result of the update.
They have worked with the new documentation, but they just can’t find their way around how to repair auto-generated titles.
The titlegeddon update impacted quite a number of their pages. However, most of the time it’s a category page. The title is cut and the brand name is added onto the end.
They have also noticed that their competitors don’t appear to have this problem. Their main rival doesn’t have any issues with their titles changing and they are all still the same as they were before the update.
John explained that their latest blog post has some information about how to fix this.
He also believes that one of the larger changes that occurred during this update is that page titles are no longer linked directly to the individual query. It’s now something that’s decided on a per-page basis.
The first part of implementing page titles like this means that it doesn’t adapt dynamically. In this sense, this makes things easier to test.
This also means that it’s much easier for you to try different variations of your page titles out in order to find out exactly what works and what doesn’t for that page.
Once you have made changes, you can use the Submit to Indexing tool in Search Console to see exactly what happens to the Google search results, due to your changes.
Then, once you figure this out, you can expand that and apply it to the rest of your website.
He recommends that you work on testing different approaches in order to see exactly what works on your individual pages.
Because this update is static and applies per page, this is something that’s easier to experiment with and you can see your results easily.
When making changes to the titles, John recommends considering the following: What are the different things I can do to the page title that will work?
How about showing the brand name? What is the best way to achieve relevance with the page title?
This interaction happens at approximately the 12:44 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
In the summer, Google released an update in Title generation for web pages. Could you tell us what factors this new algorithm decides which title should be changed? We tried using the new documentation on this, but nothing seems to work. The update affected some of our pages, most of the time, it’s a category page, its title is cut, and the brand domain name is added.
We’ve noticed some other sites and search results have this problem. At the same time, we see that our main rival in the search results has the same titles they’ve been using since before the update.
Yeah, so I think we have some information in the last blog post that we did about these title changes. So I would definitely check that out. One of the, I think, bigger changes here that happened is that the titles are no longer tied to the individual query. So it’s something that is really on a per page basis. On the one hand, this means it doesn’t adapt, kind of, dynamically. So it’s a little bit easier to test. And on the other hand, it also means that it’s easier for you to try different things out, in the sense that you can change things on your pages, and then you could use the Submit to Indexing tool and see what happens in Google search results.
What does it look like now? And because of that, it’s something where I would recommend if you’re seeing weird titles on your pages, just to try different approaches out and see what works, what is best for your website, for your kind of content. And based on that, then expand that to the rest of your website.
So that’s kind of the direction I would take there. To essentially just just try it out and try different approaches out. And because it’s really static on a per page basis, it is something that is a lot easier to kind of experiment with a little bit and to see, well: What are the different options that I can do here? How can I show my company name or my website’s name? How can I show the title that is relevant here? And all of those different things. And from that point of view, I just try things out.
It’s definitely not the case that we have any manual lists on our side where we say, “Oh, well, your competitor is on the good list for titles, we’ll show nice titles for them. And you’ll get the messy titles”. It’s all algorithmic. So it’s not something that is kind of manually held back for individual sites or pushed into individual sites.