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Google Rewrites Page Titles and Forces Further Brand Building

During the final quarter of last year, the staff at Colewood Internet had several debates regarding the development of Google’s Search Algorithm and their apparent desire to push big brands over the small-medium businesses.

One of the major points that sparked this discussion was when one of our clients who had occupied the top of organic search results for some months took a sudden dive into the middle of the table to make space for high street stores and ecommerce giant Amazon.

Now it seems that Google are confirming our suspicions as on Friday February 22, we become aware of anomalies in on-page titles and those which are displayed in the SERPs.

Automated Rewriting of Titles

Ironically, on the day that we discovered this, we were looking to change the home page title of our client’s website and assumed that they had jumped the gun, had the page cached and then reverted back to the original title. However, upon questioning them, we discovered that there were other forces at play - namely Google.

All SEO’s should be aware that Google treat pipes (|) as keyword separators and for a while this had been the standard format of defining separate statements within a title. However, the above example shows how Google are experimenting with the use of colons and appending brand names to the start of titles where deemed necessary.

Truth be told, Google’s revision of the original page title looks much better.

Does Amazon know something we don’t?

As mentioned earlier, one of the names that has seen a lot of growth in the search results lately is Amazon, and whether it be by coincidence or not, they have been using the colon in their page title for some time.

Whether Amazon’s SEO team were aware of these experiments ahead of time or not, it is clear that Google are looking for methods to put more emphasis on brands as opposed to well optimised pages.

The verdict? Google are not just testing methods of changing page titles. Get on board and start building your business’ brand otherwise you’ll find yourself in some difficult situations.

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