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7 Reasons Why Google is Rewriting Your Title Tags (And How to Fix It)

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With Google placing more of an emphasis on serving a searcher’s intent, website owners might notice that their title tags are being changed more often. 

While these title changes may happen frequently, it’s generally not something to worry about. 

With that being said, if Google’s changes are significant and it’s affecting your click-through rate (CTR), you’ll want to review your title tags to figure out why this may be happening.

In this article, I’ll discuss some of the reasons why Google is changing your title tags and how you can prevent them from being changed.

Reasons Why Google is Rewriting Your Title Tag

Luckily these are all fixable, so you’ll find how to update these further down in the article. 

Your Title Tag Isn’t Relevant To The Searcher’s Intent

Google aims to provide the most relevant results to users’ search queries so if your title doesn’t align with the user’s search intent, Google may alter them to better match the query and improve the overall search experience.

Your Title Tag Doesn’t Accurately Reflect Your Page Content

If your title tags don’t accurately represent your content, then Google will likely change them.

This is because Google wants searchers to reach their proper destination and doesn’t want them to feel like they’re being misled. 

If your article is about the “best SEO tools” and you start listing off the “best SEO agencies,” Google will likely change both your title tags to match the content.

Google Found Multiple Title Tags In Your Meta Data

Having multiple title tags in your metadata can not only confuse search engines but also result in them picking one over the other.

While this shouldn’t be much of an issue if the title tags are the same,  if they’re different, it can lead to a misleading result being shown in the SERPs.

Not to mention that your title tag, which is a search engine ranking factor will be ignored. 

Google Found a Better Option on Your Page

In some cases, Google thought your title tag quality wasn’t the best indicator of your page’s content. 

If Google finds a more fitting title tag within your page’s content, it will replace the existing ones to better match the searcher’s intent.

You Never Set Your Title Tag

If you never set your title tag, Google will generate its own based on the content it finds and the searcher’s intent.

Just know that if you forget to set your title tag, Google will just create one for you.

Your Title Tag is Too Long

Google has specific length limitations for title tags.

If your title tag exceeds these limits, Google may truncate or change them to fit within the allowed character count.

Google typically displays up to 160 characters for desktop search results and up to 130 characters for mobile search results. 

However, Google may sometimes choose to display a shorter or longer snippet based on the relevance of the content to the user’s search query.

Google generally displays title tags of up to 70 characters for desktop search results and up to 78 characters for mobile search results. 

Your Title Tag is Too Short

On the flip side, your title tag might be too short, so you’ll want to update it to be within those previous character ranges.

I’ll explain how to find these pages further along in the article. 

How to Get Google to Stop Rewriting Your Title Tag

If you want to prevent Google from changing your title tag, here are a few things you can do:  

  • Optimize your title tags for the page’s overall intent
  • Ensure your title tag accurately reflects your content
  • Have your title tag within an optimal length range
  • Ensure there’s only one title tag within your HTML code
  • Ensure your title tag can be found in your metadata

Optimize Your Title Tags for the Page’s Overall Intent

Remember, having your title tags accurately convey the article and answer the user’s intent can be tricky. 

Your article may be ranking for two queries that have similar yet different meanings. When your topic ranks across a broad spectrum like this, it can be tricky to set your title tags to match the intent across all queries.

Make Sure Your Title Tag Accurately Reflects Your Content

Review your title tag to ensure they accurately describe your content.

Remember, Google ultimately wants to satisfy the user’s intent here, and they want to make the user’s search as convenient as possible.

If your title tag does not accurately reflect the page, it will likely be rewritten by Google.

In the case of your title tag, you’re wasting an extremely solid opportunity to improve the search rank of your page.

Luckily Google doesn’t penalize you for title tags, so the worst thing you’ll get is a changed title.

It’s up to you to decide whether the title tag change accurately reflects the page or not. 

Have Your Title Tag Be the Right Length

As I mentioned before, you’ll want to keep your title tags within an optimal range. 

Aim for between 50 to 70 characters with titles.

You want users to be able to see and understand your title without it being truncated or too short. 

Ensure There’s Only One Title Tag in your Meta Data

With this, you’ll want to review your metadata or use a third-party tool like Screaming Frog or Ahrefs to find multiple title tags.

Remember, this likely isn’t an issue. However, it can cause the wrong tag to be selected, which can hurt your click-through rate or rankings. 

It’s worth monitoring to ensure the wrong title tag isn’t being selected.

Ensure Your Title Tag Can Be Found in Your Meta Data

Check that your title tags are included within your metadata. If Google can’t find your meta tags, they’ll just create a title for you. 

While Google is usually pretty accurate with their changes, you likely don’t want to leave it up to them to decide how your URL’s search appearance should look.

How Common is it For Google to Rewrite Title Tags?

As I mentioned previously, it’s not uncommon for Google to rewrite or change a site’s title tag.

If anything, it’s probably more common for Google to change your meta descriptions and title tags. 

Studies have shown that Google rewrites about 70% of meta descriptions

And for title tags, Google changes them 61% of the time.

Even though it is more common for Google to change them, you still can optimize your title tags and meta descriptions to better prevent Google from changing them.

Why You Want Google to Show Your Title Tags

As I mentioned before, Google won’t penalize you for duplicating or forgetting to set your title tag, but you will lose out on a few opportunities that would otherwise benefit your site. 

It could:

  • Improve your Click-Through Rates: Clear and compelling titles and descriptions attract users’ attention and encourage them to click on your listing, driving more organic traffic.
  • Improve User Experience: Accurate and descriptive title tags provide users with a better understanding of your page’s content, leading to a positive user experience.
  • Increase Search Visibility: When your title tags align with user search intent, Google is more likely to display your website in the SERPs, increasing your overall visibility.

How to Find Rewritten Title Tags

To identify any rewritten, changed, missing, duplicated, short, or long title tags, you can use tools like Screaming Frog and Ahrefs.

Here’s how:

  • Use Screaming Frog to find too-long or too-short titles
  • Use Screaming Frog to find duplicated or missing titles
  • Use Screaming Frog to find multiple title tags
  • Use Ahrefs to find mismatched SERP titles
  • Use Ahrefs to find too-long or too-short titles
  • Use Ahrefs to find missing or empty title tags

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