TitleGate: Why is Google changing the titles in its SERPs?

TitleGate: In general, Google takes into account the text present in the title tag of a page to generate a title visible in the results pages. This criterion has changed significantly in recent times in favor of other data sources.

Google has always modified the titles in its results pages, but without significant change. Indeed until now, this modification was purely decorative in particular via the deletion of stop words which could reduce the relevance of the title of the pages for the Net surfers according to the request type.

Google communicates on the TitleGate feature

Since the end of August, the positioning of Google on the modification of the titles of the pages has changed. In fact, Google reaffirms one of its main objectives which is to allow Internet users to find content associated with their searches by reflecting it as well as possible. This is through the display of titles on the results pages.

Google changes SERP titles more frequently

According to a study carried out by Semrush, the number of Google search results displaying the Title tag in the SERP fell by 77% on average. The study carried out indicates in particular that the H1 tag is frequently used to constitute a new title in the pages of results (75%).

However, other sources can be used if the H1 tag is not deemed relevant enough via the use of other HN tags (H2, H3, etc.), breadcrumbs, or even the link anchors present in the content of your pages.

What impact for natural referencing?

Google press release indicated that the TitleGate functionality would have no impact on the positioning of the pages. Indeed, it would have a purely decorative purpose intended for Internet users, but what about the reality?

The impact on the click-through rate:

The click-through rate of page is mainly due to the relevance of its title and its meta description on SERP. Therefore if this one only partially meets the search intention of the Internet user, the page may be not clicked in favor of another for the same type of content.

Google’s intervention with the TitleGate feature can therefore positively or negatively influence it. Google favors the H1 tag for display in its SERPs in order to improve its relevance for Internet users. This can affect the search intent targeted upstream with the Title tag for this page.

The impact on conversions:

The number of conversions can also be impacted depending on whether your click-through rate increases or decreases on Google. The number of possible conversions will have a positive or opposite effect. Hence the importance of monitoring your changes in order to analyze the possible impacts on your business.

What are the SEO recommendations?

Your page title must always be correctly completed with one (or more) keywords. But also with content that reflects your page.

The goal is to get a balance between a title and page content intended for your Internet users and search engine robots.

You should avoid:

  • Titles too short for your pages
  • Irrelevant headlines that don’t reflect your content
  • Identical titles on several of your pages
  • The repetition of keywords in the TITLE tag

How do you know if your website is impacted?

If in doubt, contact our SEO agency to perform an audit of your website and determine to what extent the TITLEGATE impacts your website.

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