The Evolution of the Page Title

Category: SEO

Page Title Graphic

One of the great things about SEO is that it’s always changing. However, there are a handful of SEO elements that remain constant, albeit with a few minor changes in how that particular element is used.

One example of this is the Page Title. This particular web element has been around since way before digital marketers were modifying their websites to rank higher on Google, but it has undergone a slight evolution that digital marketers everywhere need to be aware of.

What is a Page Title?

A Page Title is a descriptive element that displays on the Search Results page of Google as well as in a browser tab when you visit a page.  This can be seen below in the following graphics.

Page Title Example


Page Title Example

What is the past importance of the Page Title?

A Page Title is arguably the single most important On-Page factor Google considers when they crawl and index your website. Knowing this, many SEOs used to stuffed keywords into their titles to appear more relevant to Google. “Keyword, Keyword, Keyword” was their mantra, and it worked for a long time in helping increase their website relevancy.

As with many things SEO and Google related, this practice has changed!

When Google released its Penguin update in 2012, one of the things it targeted was the use of “stuffed” and non-natural page titles. Needless to say, this tactic is now considered spam and should be avoided when crafting your page titles.

What can I do to see if my website is violating these practices?

The first thing to do to make you are following Google’s guidelines is to go on Google and search for a keyword you know your website is relevant for. Once you find your website in Google’s search results, take note of how the link looks. Does it read like a sentence, or is it three or four keywords lumped together with no real value to the end user?

It is important to note that using keywords is NOT a bad thing. However, over-use appears spammy and is considered bad policy. A good practice is to use your brand in your page title, as this has shown to increase the click through rate for your website.

As you can see, optimizing your page titles and avoiding the overuse of keywords is very important. This way you can follow the path of the Page Title evolution all the way to more relevancy, higher CTRs, and a better rank by Google.

To find out more about how to see if your website’s SEO is keeping up with Google, be sure to attend our next Webinar “Is Your Website’s SEO Stuck In the Past?” You can register here. As an added bonus, all attendees will be eligible for a free website SEO audit.

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