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Getting the title we want in the search results

There was a time when the Google search results showed the title of our web pages exactly as we’d specified it in the <TITLE> tag. This could be optimised for length, and didn’t need to have anything to do with the main headline on the page, which could be optimised for visual impact.

Unfortunately for us, Google has decided it knows best, and it’s quite possible that the title it’ll show in the search results will be quite different to the one we supply. I suspect that in the case of many technical B2B sites, it’s not helping its users by doing so, but we’re the collateral damage from overcoming manipulation on consumer and social sites.

One tip I’ve seen recommended is to double down and use the same title and main headline (i.e. <TITLE> and <H1>). Google is thought to like the idea of users seeing the same thing on the search results as they’ll see on the page, and this would achieve that. Anyone finding they’re getting less than optimal search results presentation and looking to fix individual examples might like to give that a try.