Titles & Descriptions

Titles and descriptions are forms of metadata used to tell search engines what a webpage is about, inform users about the content on a webpage as well as being used as a factor by Google when determining a page’s ranking within its search results. Our Hangout Notes cover insights from Google around how they handle specified title and meta tags and how they can impact rankings.

Include Supporting Descriptive Content with Videos

March 5, 2019 Source

From Google’s perspective, having a video by itself makes a page hard to understand in terms of its topical focus. Make sure you also add supporting descriptive content to help search engines understand the purpose of pages that contain videos.


Google Decides if Specified Title Tag Should be Used For Ranking & SERPs

January 22, 2019 Source

Title tag changes are complex for Google to process as they need to decide if they should use the title tag provided for ranking and in search results.


Google May Filter Out Parts of Meta Descriptions if Misleading or Spammy

January 11, 2019 Source

Google may filter out parts of meta descriptions if they are deemed them to be spammy or misleading.


Changing Page Titles Will Impact Rankings

November 27, 2018 Source

Google uses page titles as one of the factors when determining page rankings, so completely rewriting a page’s title will impact its keyword rankings.


Page Titles May be Rewritten if They Aren’t Clear, Contain Many Keywords or Are Too Long

July 27, 2018 Source

Google has algorithms to work out when it makes sense to rewrite page titles in search. Rewriting may occur if Google thinks a page title isn’t clear, is a list of keywords or if it is too long.


Don’t Target an Explicit Length For Meta Descriptions

May 15, 2018 Source

John advises against changing meta descriptions based on what’s currently showing in the SERPs as this changes over time and varies for each query. Meta descriptions aren’t used for ranking, they should be relevant and succinct for users.


Use Similar Titles to Help Google Understand Paginated Sets

December 15, 2017 Source

Using similar titles across paginated pages helps Google identify sets of paginated pages.


Optimise Meta Descriptions by Looking at Search Queries in GSC

December 15, 2017 Source

For meta description optimisation, John recommends looking at queries in GSC and searching for those queries. Once you see what queries look like in search results, you can optimise their length accordingly.


Optimize Meta Description Length For Queries That The Page Ranks For

December 12, 2017 Source

Google tries to use the meta description provided, but if more information or context is needed to fulfil the user’s query then other sections of the page’s content will be included as well. There are no ranking benefits of tweaking or lengthening descriptions, but they need to explain what your service is and your USPs.


Related Topics

Structured Data Alt Tags