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Serps Not Indexing My Title Tag


Best Answer jamesbetfix , 14 July 2015 - 11:21 AM

issue has been fixed:

Cause:
Title tag content was displaying the similar keyword too close to each other, making the title look too spammy.

 

Solution:

We have removed any duplication from the title tag and keep it under 56 chars.

Google is now displaying the desired title on SERPs.

Thanks for all your contributions.

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13 replies to this topic

#1 jamesbetfix

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 12:00 AM

I am having a problem with one of the websites I’m trying to rank for. This is a big issue because Google is ignoring the homepage title tag I’m using and just putting something else, which is not using all the ~70 characters I get at my disposition. Shortening my chances to optimize my title tag and rank faster/easier.

To explain the issue better let me give an example. Let’s say that this is my current title tag (no quotes):
“My Website Topic – My website name”

At this moment it’s only:
“My Website Topic”

This is a big issue because as we know the title is one of the most important factors of Onsite Optimization.

Let me know what you guys think. Have any of you have had a similar experience.

#2 chrishirst

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 09:08 AM

Google  WILL change your title if their system decides that "your title" is not a good match for the users query.

 

 

This is a big issue because as we know the title is one of the most important factors of Onsite Optimization.

Ermm "WE" do not know any such 'fact' any more and neither does anyone else. It is a factor certainly, but how important a factor is only known to Google and their algorithm developers.  A few years ago it could have been and was being described as "the most important" but now, I wouldn't be so sure of that. Especially given that Google does change the title text when displayed in their results. 

Do NOT be fooled by what you think you can see happening in 'rankings', Google test many things continuously using 'your' URLs as the object of the testing and their Search users as the subject of the exercise.

 

Read this and this  



#3 Jill

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 10:51 AM

Title tags are of course still important, IMO. But just because Google is changing yours in the display doesn't mean they're not indexing the content of yours that's in your HTML code. It would be my guess that they definitely are.



#4 jamesbetfix

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 11:02 AM

chrishirst and Jill, thanks for your opinion. But we are missing the point here. chrishirst, when I say the title tag is important is because I've experienced it is extremely important (coupled with the description meta tag). This is not the first site I rank, but it is the first one in which Google insists in ignoring my full 65 characters and chooses to use their chosen 10 characters title.

I posted this forum post to find out if anyone out there has experienced a similar issue, but based on all the replies that basically try to say: "don't worry, title tag is not the only factor", or "Google has chosen his preferred title for your website so live with it" (which very well may be the only option it seems").
 
It seems that nobody has experienced a issue like this. Hopefully this post can remain open in case down the line someone with a similar issue can post to it with more info about it.
 



#5 torka

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 11:43 AM

The problem is not that others have not experienced this "problem." Google can, and has, replaced the title in the display for other pages, as both Jill and Chris noted. It's actually a fairly well-known phenomenon.

 

The issue here is there is no reliable "fix" for the "problem." Google has apparently decided the given title isn't relevant to display for that particular search query results, and they will choose what they want to display in its place.

 

I'm not aware of anyone who has a 100% (or even a 75% or 50%) guaranteed effective fix for this... and I would be deeply, deeply skeptical of anyone who claims they do.

 

Really, the only thing you can do is experiment with alternate titles until you find one that Google "likes" for the chosen search query. If you're dead-set on using this particular title (because you really, really like it for some reason, or because you've convinced your self this title -- and only this title -- is key to achieving whatever results you're looking for, or whatever) then you're out of luck until (if and when) Google changes their algorithmic mind and decides your coded title is "relevant enough" to display.

 

Now, if you know a way to force Google into doing pretty much anything, you're doing better than most every industry professional I know of. Generally the best we can do is suggest and try to influence, but in the end Google will do what Google wants and you just have to learn to deal with it.

 

As Jill said, there's no reason to think Google hasn't indexed your title, just that they're not choosing to display your title. So any major SEO/ranking benefits you think you may be getting from it are likely already in effect.

 

If the "problem" is that searchers aren't seeing your "ideal" title in the search results and you think it's depressing your click-through rates, keep in mind that Google -- who has access to a lot more data than you do, and just as much incentive to maximize visitor click-through rates to valuable pages -- disagrees with you. Perhaps it might pay to take their judgement into consideration?

 

If you were hoping we'd give you some formula or setting to click that would magically force Google to bend to your will, so sorry to disappoint. Sometimes I myself wish such a thing existed, but sadly, it does not, nor do I expect such a thing to materialize any time soon. :poof:

 

--Torka :oldfogey:


Edited by torka, 10 July 2015 - 11:47 AM.


#6 Jill

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 11:55 AM

Along with what Torka said, it's important to note that whatever title you see is keyword dependent. That is, Google may or may not change your Title to various things depending upon the keyword that any given searcher has used. Because you can't know every keyword phrase that every person in the world has ever used where your site showed up, it would be impossible to control your Title as you'd like.

 

And yes, of course we've all experienced this at Google. It's been happening for at least 5 years or more. I personally think it's horrible that Google does it, but such is life.



#7 Michael Martinez

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 02:50 AM

I run into this all the time.  It's not a big deal, in terms of how it impacts search referral traffic.  If you don't like the way Google replaces the title then you have to replace it yourself.  There is no way to force the search engine to use your preferred title.

 

But the title displayed in the SERPs often changes based on the query.  Same page, different listing title.



#8 qwerty

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 06:34 AM

I agree with what everyone has said above, but regarding this

As Jill said, there's no reason to think Google hasn't indexed your title, just that they're not choosing to display your title. So any major SEO/ranking benefits you think you may be getting from it are likely already in effect.

...there's an easy way to check. Just do an intitle search for the full title, in quotes. For example, if your title is “My Website Topic – My website name” then search Google for intitle:“My Website Topic – My website name”. If your page is returned, even if Google doesn't display the title in the results (and yes, I've even seen that happen a few times), then it's clear that Google has indexed the contents of the tag.

 

It can be a bit irritatng when the algo ignores your effort to craft a clear, relevant title, but it looks like this particular case involves Google failing to see that this string of text represents a company name. With all the stress that's been put on entities in the past few years (this "things, not strings" business) this suggests that Google isn't viewing your branding as the name of a business, and that might represent a somewhat larger issue.


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#9 jamesbetfix

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 03:08 PM

I ran the query for the contents of my current title tag (with quotes). No results where returned. Crazy.
 
So that means the Search Engine is actually not indexing my title tag.
 

 
there's no reason to think Google hasn't indexed your title

So that puts this point to rest.
 

 
But the title displayed in the SERPs often changes based on the query.  Same page, different listing title.

 
Yes, you are right.
I usually check the state of the indexation of my site using the ":site" operator, it looks like a pretty non-biased way to looking at your current state on the index. So that's what I'm referring to when I say that Google is not displaying my title tag correctly.


By the way, I've previously noticed that MajesticSeo is showing "N/A" as my title tag. I search majestic for the #1 ranked competitor and for theirs Majestic is also showing "N/A". So I guess we can put the argument if whether or not Google is having the same problem as Majestic to identify the title tag to rest, concluding that Majestic engine may just suck at that.
 
Agree?

#10 chrishirst

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 04:29 AM

 

 

So that means the Search Engine is actually not indexing my title tag.
 

 

Not necessarily.

 

The way to demonstrate that with some degree of certainty is to run a site: query with one or two words after the root URI.

like so:

site:domain.tld word1 word2

which should return some, if not all, of the document URLs that the data centre your query is directed to has in it's local copy of the dataset for that site and those words.

 

"Majestic" is not Google, so there is no direct correlation, and as with all SEO "tools", the data they show has to be "handled with care", because what you see is not always what it means.


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#11 jamesbetfix

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 12:35 PM

 

Not necessarily.

 

The way to demonstrate that with some degree of certainty is to run a site: query with one or two words after the root URI.

like so:

site:domain.tld word1 word2

which should return some, if not all, of the document URLs that the data centre your query is directed to has in it's local copy of the dataset for that site and those words.

 

"Majestic" is not Google, so there is no direct correlation, and as with all SEO "tools", the data they show has to be "handled with care", because what you see is not always what it means.

That was a great suggestion. I did that, and even though my current title tag does not display, it now shows an alternate of title tag I had put at the beginning (before the one I'm currently using).

 

Another user also suggested that my title may be too long (58 chars). I actually shorten it a little bit without missing any important keywords.

 

Finally, I'm also thinking that another possible reason is that my previous title tag was repeating the same keyword too often (1 word of difference actually), so this could make Google display until that separator, and ignore the rest. I got a strong feeling about this one.

 

What I did now is slightly rephrase my title tag to avoid duplication, and no more than 56 chars.

 

I'll keep you guys updated on any changes.



#12 chrishirst

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 06:48 PM

 

 

Another user also suggested that my title may be too long (58 chars).

 

You can safely ignore that "advice", 

 

 

 

I actually shorten it a little bit without missing any important keywords.

 

And forget about cramming 'x' number of 'key' words into the titles because doing that is a great way to get the wrong kind of attention from Google.



#13 jamesbetfix

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 11:21 AM   Best Answer

issue has been fixed:

Cause:
Title tag content was displaying the similar keyword too close to each other, making the title look too spammy.

 

Solution:

We have removed any duplication from the title tag and keep it under 56 chars.

Google is now displaying the desired title on SERPs.

Thanks for all your contributions.



#14 Michael Martinez

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 04:06 PM

For what it is worth, I have found that repeating keywords in titles does often result in Google substituting its own titles.  It's not a given that the search engine will do this but it happens much more than it used to.






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