Google is constantly updating its functions and algorithm to provide the optimum user experience. However, this can be a tricky area for SEOs and website users to navigate, as you rarely know which changes are around the corner.
Recently, Google started rewriting meta titles in the SERPs. The search engine now uses relevant text from the webpage copy to form title tags. But, what does this mean for your SEO strategy going forward? We’ll answer this question and more in this article.
Why has Google implemented this change?
As with many algorithm updates or changes in the SERPs, Google often makes changes to better serve its users.
It’s likely that Google has implemented this change to improve the relevancy of meta titles. This could result in higher clickthrough rates (CTR) and improved search traffic quality. However, we’ll need to monitor conversions and CTR over time to see if the change has had a positive impact.
As titles tags are a ranking factor, it’s also crucial to understand the impact that this could have on rankings going forward.
‘Will this change affect my rankings?’
No. Google’s John Mueller has stated that the keywords used in the new title tag will not be taken into account when assessing the relevancy of a page. Therefore, the update will not affect your search rankings.
This is important to note, as it means the meta title you write will still be taken into account (for now).
‘Do I still need to optimise my title tags?’
Yes! The new meta title that Google creates will not be taken into account when assessing your pages’ relevance. This means that you’ll still need to optimise your title tags with relevant keywords, as this will be taken into account.
Is this a permanent change?
Sometimes Google will A/B test changes in the SERPs, which will then disappear after a short while. But for now, it looks like this update is here to stay.
‘How can I check if my title tags have been changed?’
There are a number of ways to check if your title tags have been affected.
Firstly, you could manually check to see if the title tags in the SERPs are the same as the tags you assigned. However, this could be a time-consuming process.
There are also several tools you can use to check how your website has been affected…
Ahrefs – Site Explorer > Organic Keywords 2.0
This tool allows you to monitor historical SERP changes. You look back to see how different pages’ title tags looked before and after the update.
Rank Ranger – SEO Monitor
With this, you can see all of the changes that have been made to a meta title or description over time and the date that the change was made.
Semrush – Position Tracking
You’ll need to manually check meta title changes using the SERP function in Semrush’s Position Tracking tool. This allows you to view SERPs for specific keywords on specific dates.
SISTRIX – SERPs > SERP-Snippets
This function will show you exactly which words have been dropped or added to a meta title.
So, what does this all mean for your SEO strategy? In summary:
- Keep optimising your title tags
- Your rankings should not be directly affected by this change
- Stay up-to-date with Google’s algorithm changes
- Work with an SEO agency to ensure future changes don’t impact your rankings
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to algorithm updates. With the help of a digital marketing agency, you can ensure your website is in top shape at all times. This helps you protect your rankings should Google’s algorithm change.
Need a helping hand? Get in touch with one of our SEO experts today!