Google recently released an update to its tagging system. Although the official statement of the corporation (along with an explanation of the innovations) was posted online, not all SEO specialists understood the essence of the changes. Let's figure it out!
A lot of articles have appeared on the web about a new method of generating tags, we will focus our attention on Brodie Clark's post.
Since its launch, the Google search engine has dictated its own rules for the placement and functionality of web pages. The number of codes and algorithms used was constantly growing. Such changes have long ceased to be included in the TOP news, and who needs them, right? True, the latest update of the title tags caused a strong reaction from SEO specialists.
In this post we will try to avoid superficial and incorrect statements, but draw attention to the most significant changes. We try to avoid using unambiguous statements (it is easy to "miss" with Google algorithms). We do not make categorical statements (it is easy to make a mistake), but we must understand the main innovations.
Updating Google's internal kitchen can be difficult (sometimes impossible) to notice. But for SEO professionals, this is not a problem. Over the years of work, we have developed a “6th sense”. And it tells us - “There is no peace in our forests”.
We should start with a story. That is why this post was written. After that, we'll go over the major changes and complete a thematic analysis of how the title tag was applied after the update.
When talking about Google algorithms, it's important to define the following:
Limited amount of content. Although the text displayed in the title tag or meta description is directly device dependent. Sometimes Google will make changes to the valid metadata “frames”.
Improving the search system is a massively used algorithm. It works on the principle of replacing headers based on the user's request. This is done to update the site during the search.
Changing search results in a search engine is how the platform tries to improve the relevance of search results.
The above is the “tip of the iceberg” of what Google is doing. The very system of releasing updates can be called "ebb and flow". Regular updates introduce new things, change the old beyond recognition. Unfortunately, not all of them deserve attention - as there are many “cosmetic” and simply insignificant ones among them.
Public opinion agrees on one thing — the search engine has changed the site titles. The algorithms made "edits" replacing the "author" tags with "own" tags. Let's take a closer look.
As far as it became clear, the innovation directly affects the operation of the algorithm. Its function is to improve the headers in the query results. Apparently, Google jealousy protects the "purity" of the service pages. Whether it has to do with getting a new title from a tag or actually extracting one from the cosmic void remains a mystery.
One thing is clear, the update resulted in a reduction in the meta description. Not because of the limitation on the number of pixels, but because of the indirect impact of the readability and relevance algorithm. He is responsible for editing title tags in search results.
Let's look at an example. After the update, seemingly insignificant changes have occurred, let's consider them using the example of the request "Wooden furniture, Melbourne".
Overnight (without declaring war) Google changed the display of site titles in search engine results. Instead of including "Sydney, Perth and other cities" in, the algorithms decided to reduce it to Melbourne. Whether this is related to the target audience of the company, its place of work or the volume of orders is unknown.
The next point is the brand name. Previously, it was at the end of the tag if it was added when the site was launched. Now the line is shortened, and regardless of the optimizer's wishes, the brand name is at the end of it. This was revealed after the addition of a hyphen from Google.
An interesting case from Lily Rae. Brodie Clark's “editors” decided to investigate the situation and issue a “verdict”:
Have you heard of Lily Rae? Her knowledge of SEO is so deep that even Google is afraid to cross her path! As soon as Lily finds a change, the dissection of the entire code begins (after that, few people remain the same). She found something new and it will make you think.
Often, the search engine simply does not include the accepted title tag, changing it similarly, based on the page content. The platform is familiar — the algorithm trusts the relevant fragments of the text from the web resource with concrete confidence.
The example concerns a resource with rewritten tags, but the search engine suggested option was not included in the source code. For us, this outcome was unexpected.
We have a page with a title tag set in HTML:
As a result, Google finds it unnecessary and simply does not use it during searches.
The headline is structured so that it begs the question “Ummm… Was it taken from the page? Yes?". Surprisingly, no. Google found the heading on another page, dividing our lives into "Before" and "After".
Looking through the internal links, we see that there is one more page (of the same resource) to which the search engine is linking.
And blame ... (drum roll) paige tag! You will see an example below.
This is what Google is capable of doing to generate what the platform thinks is needed. For him, there are no restrictions and moral guidelines. He achieves the goal in all ways. Even in such an ugly way. It should be noted that when changing tags, replacing the heading tag (as in the example above), the brand name is added not through a vertical bar, but with a hyphen.
This is a vivid example of how the algorithm works — rewrite heading tags using internal link-related signal. Let's look at an example. You can see that it did look better than the one above.
Finally. The update is hard to describe in a few words. Algorithm changes are always multifaceted. This is as it should be.
Most will not notice the change in Google's page title update. Only SEO specialists and copywriters are referred to the new heading system by “not an evil, quiet word”. This innovation will make their work "more responsible" — you cannot cram key words into headlines and enjoy life.
To summarize the above:
The length of the tag titles has been significantly reduced (based on the Ranger rating). Text minimization is noticeable on both PC and mobile platforms.
The goal of the update is obvious — to make site titles “more relevant”. Display the content of the page, and not clog the info-field with tons of key-words. Sometimes (rarely) headings are simply generated from tags that replace text.
Sometimes you can observe that the search engine is trying to “make sure” of the visibility of the brand name within the title tag.
There is simply nothing new or “special” in the update. However, this does not undo many changes. They were enough to scare SEOs with rewritten tag headers.
Google is doing its best to make websites easier to use. Many changes are aimed at optimizing text and how it interacts with headings. But we will advise you not to run and change tags after this update.
Do not forget — search engines often show irrelevant search results. The problem is complex algorithms. Google is currently trying to improve information search in every possible way, albeit by reducing the number of tags.
Search engine restructuring of your resources is not as big of a problem as it might seem. In practice, nothing awaits you except for minor, almost imperceptible edits. Google is doing its best to improve the state of affairs regarding search and the display of its results, but this does not mean that you can forget about its own role in the visibility of the site. You should pay more attention to what you can independently control and rule. Namely, your web resource and its technical condition.
Although Google's recent key headings update has made adjustments to how sites are displayed in search results, they are still the only way to develop pages. The changes that are shown in the post above, first of all, affected the “brevity” of the headings. Due to Google's Page Title Update, it may have become more difficult for careless copywriters (and SEOs) to achieve good page ranking, but now the title text will take on a more “elaborate” look. At the moment, website optimization requires more attention to be paid to keywords. The days of cluttering title tags are coming to an end.
We also observe the influence of the new algorithm on our website. After analyzing the search engine and the appearance of our pages in it, we noticed that instead of the title tag, which is spelled out in the site code
the title taken by Google from H1 of the corresponding page and the name of our company through a hyphen, instead of through a vertical line are displayed.
Updating page titles in Google is intended to increase the level of “cleanliness” and relevance of title tags. Unfortunately, the changes also affected the operation of third-party tools. For example, from time to time, there are messages about the "break" of tags on the site.
Light Spider is a digital agency specializing in the development and promotion of Internet resources. Providing SEO services, Light Spider specialists achieve maximum ranking by optimizing the website through the competent use of keywords, content, meta tags, linking, backlinks and other factors that affect the site's position in the search engine results.
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In promoting and optimizing web resources, trust those who follow the updates. Choose the service you need, our specialists will perform it in the best way!