How Title & Meta Description Update Will Affect Your Rankings

Recently, Google made an update which was noticed by almost every user i.e. new search layout display design for Google search results pages. 

Another update made by Google is now, Google picks up the most relevant title tag for any page according to the search query. 

If any page is ranked in search results, but its page title is not relevant according to the search query than Google algorithm picks up a new relevant title from the page content or it shows a part of the current title tag.

Update 1: New Search layout Display Design

How this new search layout design is changed and its impact on title tag length for SEO.

Change:
Google’s new design has increased the font size of title tags in search results, while the overall width available for the search result snippet remaining the same, which results in less characters showing up in search results.

how title tag appearence has changed after search layout display setting update - techseotricks

SEO Impact:

If your target keyword is present in the end than there are possibilities that it may hide from the title appearing in search results. So ensure that all your target keywords are in starting of the title tag.

It makes title less effective to users in search results, which results in less CTR.

How to decide the new title tag length?

Case 1:
Moz has also launched a title preview tool for showing title preview – Link for the tool.
This tool is fine, but you can’t depend on this tool completely because there is some other things title tag depends upon. According to a study by Moz, Average length of the title tag is changed and described in the picture below. Previously it was 65-70 characters, but now it is around 55-60 characters.
Average length of title tag after search layout design update
Image:MOZ

Case 2:
According to Bill Hartzer, Title tag is measured in terms of pixels rather than number of characters. The container width for the search result snippet is fixed, but the font is increased, which results in increase in pixels and decrease in total number of characters for the title in search results display. 

Bill has introduced a tool for measuring pixel length for titles – Link for the tool

What factors impact title tag length in search results?

# In English language, all the characters are not of same widths, so title tag length also depends on the characters you are using.

If you are using narrow letters than you can use  more number of letters in your title. 

# How a title with 86 characters appears in updated search layout page.
How a title with 86 characters appears in search results after update-techseotricks

If you are using Capital letters than there will be less numbers of characters in your title.
How title appears before and after in MOZ preview tool-techseotricks
Image from MOZ title preview tool

# Google shows the parts of the title tag in bold which matches to the query, so if you are using any exact match keyword phrases in your title tags than there are chances that your title may appear short.

Update 2: How Google picks up title tags & Meta Description according to relevancy?

Change:
Google will show title & meta description on the basis of relevancy, If your title or meta description not relevant according to the query entered by user than Google will pick-up some relevant title & description from your content and will show it in search results.
How title tag changes as per the query by user-techseotricks

Here you can see, the two different queries on Google search results in two different titles appear in search results.
How meta description changes as per the search query - techseotricks

Here you can see how the last line of meta description changes as per the query in case 2, when pdf word included in query Google displayed a new line from the content in meta description with pdf word in it.

The criteria used by Google to come up with new title are:

  1. Something that is “relatively” short
  2. Have a good description of the page and “ideally” the site that the page is on.
  3. And that it is relevant to the query.
If your existing title tag fits the above explained criteria, then Google will most likely use your title tag. If not, then Google may use
  1. content on your page
  2. anchor text links pointing to the page or
  3. may also use the Open Directory Project like DMOZ.
Recently, a video released by Matt cutts describing how Google choose titles for a webpage:




SEO Impact:
Google will stop showing keyword rich titles, if it is not relevant for the query entered by the user or the content present on the page.

If a particular part of the title is relevant for the query than Google will show only that part of the title in search results.
OR 
Google will pick up some other relevant title from the content present on the page.

Google is now focused on better user experience, So try to provide the best results for their users.
It is not necessary to shorten the length of title tags because Google considers the complete title, but try to include the target keywords in the starting of title tags, because a good title attracts more users to click on it.


Conclusion:

Keeping an eye on all the Google updates and making changes according to them on your website is really helpful to rank well and for amintaining your position in search results.

Title and meta description plays a very important role in ranking and improving CTR so optimize them according to Google will help in getting high quality traffic.

Thanks for reading this article. Comment below if there is any query or suggestions. Share this article with your followers and don’t forget to like us.

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One Comment


  1. pixelFlyte

    September 1, 2015 at 7:53 PM

    Very clever that Google determines title length based on pixel width of characters rather than character count itself.

    Reply

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Myself Bhavuk Khandelwal, I have keen interest in writing about Digital Marketing and this is the reason of establishment of this blog Tech SEO Tricks, I am Blogging about Search Engine Optimization, Blogging Tricks, Content Marketing, Make Money Online, Affiliate Marketing, Online Marketing Promotion Strategy, Sharing How to Guides and many other topics. I am doing various Experiments and will be sharing all the Findings and Tricks on this Blog in Future.

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