Strange Title in Google, Title is not coming from my Title Tag in Google, why?

Posted on 2012-08-13
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I thought this was very odd:

If you search google for: carbon fiber hoods

You will see my website in the results, but the title in the Google search results is "Carbon Fiber Hood".  I'm not sure where Google is coming up with this title?  My title tags are totally different.  Even in the cached page you can see that the title tags are different.

You can see in the cache the title is completely different.
<title>Carbon Fiber Hoods by Carbon Creations 20% OFF, SEIBON Carbon Fiber Hoods</title>

Open in new window


My question is:  Where does google generate the title of the listing if not from the Title tags? Also, how can I fix this on my site for the root page:

Question by:RonPaul
    LVL 23

    Assisted Solution

    Google sometimes decides it knows better and will create it's own titles.

    It may source the title from the search term, page content or even content from pages linking to you.

    This often happens if your own title does not match the search term or the content of the page.

    If you add "creations" to your search term
    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution

    From Webmaster FAQ at Google:

    "The first line of any search result is the title of the web page. This text is generally taken from the contents of the <title> tag for that page (which is also the text that appears in the title bar of your browser). Occasionally (generally when the title tag is not meaningful or the page is not crawlable) Google will pull the title from the anchor text of a link to that page, or from the Open Directory Project."

    Notice the "generally taken"! Use the Webmaster tools to find out more about your site. In your case, I guess that Google sees your "20% off" as advertising that isn't allowed(?) for a page title and uses (in my opinion) the more correct "Carbon Fiber Hoods".
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    Sorry, it posted before I finished. Damn tablet....

    I added "creations" to the search term and it used your full title so it looks like it wants a slight better match before using it.

    Your title is also repeating your target term which may look spammy to Google.

    I'd drop the last part and see if Google feels more comfortable to use it then.
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    Here is some additional information on how Google grabs title tags (according to the author's research).

    Bottom line - Google is doing more & more to differentiate titles and make sure they are unique, and that they reflect the content on the page, not just what the website author says that it should be.

    Google feels that they know best and are continually tweaking their algorithm and specifically targeting titles.

    From a searchengineland article --

    Google is basically taking the liberty to rewrite titles, drop “boilerplate text” and make the wording of individual search results more user-friendly

    If you want to rank for a specific search term, make sure that your entire page of content is reflective of that subject and Google will likely rank you for that content even without the exact match words.  Exact match still matters, but much less so than in the past.

    Author Closing Comment

    Great answers everyone!  Interesting stuff, I have changed my title and hopefully once it is re-indexed it will work.  I removed the spammyness of the 20% off and repetitive "Carbon fiber hoods".

    Actually it even changed today, back to the old title if you search for: carbon fiber hoods

    <title>Carbon Fiber Hoods by Carbon Creations, SEIBON and VIS</title>

    I'm also ranking as #2 now :)

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    What Is Threat Intelligence?

    Threat intelligence is often discussed, but rarely understood. Starting with a precise definition, along with clear business goals, is essential.

    [Part 4 of a 6 part series called SEO Basics: 5 SEO Secrets for Creating Content that Drives Traffic (…
    [Part 5 of a 6 part series called SEO Basics: 5 SEO Secrets for Creating Content that Drives Traffic (…
    This tutorial demonstrates how to identify and create boundary or building outlines in Google Maps. In this example, I outline the boundaries of an enclosed skatepark within a community park.  Login to your Google Account, then  Google for "Google M…
    This Micro Tutorial will demonstrate how to add subdomains to your content reports. This can be very importing in having a site with multiple subdomains.

    760 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    9 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now