Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
Reaction score
Prior to starting the forum, I blogged back in May about Google overwriting title tags in the SERPS by 'trying' to scrape the name of the business from the web site but sometimes she gets it VERY wrong.

I've seen her replace title tag in SERPs with initials that made no sense, a single keyword, or something bogus like "subscribe here".

Here's my post from May: Weird Google Local Update – Title Tags Being Overwritten? 2 New Updates
That post includes some of the bogus replacements and problems I've seen.

Well the issue is still raising it's ugly head and Colan, one of our Local Pro members just contacted me to alert me to a thread he just started at the Google forum.

Colan PMed me to ask: Hi Linda, I know there is a thread somewhere where you explain how Google has been making up their own title tags for Google+ Local listings based on what they feel delivers the best user experience. Do you know the thread I'm referring to? I couldn't find it.. Anyway I posted an interesting example of this on the Google forum Have you seen this situation happen before?

Here Colan's thread at the Google forum: Why is Google displaying a website URL as the title of a listing in search??

My replies follow in case it helps anyone here:

Linda said:

With the top 3 listings in the SERPS, Google is scraping the site and trying it's best to guess at the name. The bottom 3 or 4 listings she usually pulls the name directly from title on Place page. Here is what I typically see

- The top listing usually gets to keep their title tag
- The next 2 or 3 shes scrapes from the web site and sometimes gets it very wrong.
- Then the last 3 or 4 she pulls directly from G+ L title.

Here is the link to Colan's client's site. Anchorage, AK State Farm Insurance Agent - (907) 345-0214 After investigating, here is what I told him I think COULD be going on.

As I explained to Colan over there: "from what I've seen investigating other cases like this she's scraping on-page elements and replacing title tag in SERPS with something she thinks must be important due to on-page elements.

So I searched source code and suspect it's this. Domain is in an H1 tag at top which Google thinks of as the title or most important part of the page."

<h1 class="icon1">Todd Jackson, <span class="designation">CASL,ChFC,CLU</span><span><a href=""></a></span></h1>

I also suggest he look at other State Farm pages that are formatted with the domain on top in the H1 like that to see if that might be what's triggering it.

I've also helped others with this problem here and at the Google forum. I'll see if I can round up some other posts in case they help anyone else dealing with this issue.

FYI guys, I have a MAJOR post coming out tomorrow regarding a related problem and it includes the issue of Google removing title tags. Stay tuned, it's a post about a pretty big deal that's affecting local search.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
bhartzer Google Business Sites Can Overwrite URL in Google Local Listing Google My Business & Google Maps 2
A Multiple locations in GMB - only one result in Google search Multi-Location Issues 3
harmony Another Google Local Ranking update? Google Algorithm Discussions 11
V How to mark service area in Google Maps, GMB Google My Business & Google Maps 2
k.ivanova Google Maps - Base Maps vs Satellite view discrepancy Google My Business & Google Maps 2
Lluc Google showing large favicons/logos for "people also searched for" in the search bar auto-complete suggestions Google News: Important Changes & Features 2
J Duplicate listings on Google ( GMB Listings ) popping up a lot lately - listing being 'stolen' by someone else... Local Search 2
DangGood Missing Google Guaranteed Badge on Mobile only for one Category Paid Search and Local Service Ads 4
C Google removing SAB's with no communication Service Area Businesses 3
M Google Maps Rankings are not Stable Google My Business & Google Maps 6
stankolev What is the maximum number of categories single Google My Business listing can have? NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 5
Chris Ratchford Google Ads- Local Pack- one GMB location only? Paid Search and Local Service Ads 1
Don Archer Google business listing with 482 Real Review Missing. How do I get them back? Help & Support for Google Local 7
Nikki Stine Are negative Google reviews due to supply shortages considered 'off-topic'? Local Reviews 2
Jeffrey Taylor Adding a new category to Google my Business Google My Business & Google Maps 4
david.victor Attribute used as Category by Google on Maps NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 10
M Google Search Console Errors "Coverage and Breadcrumbs"? Google My Business & Google Maps 4
Lachlan_Wells Accept/Discard Google Updates - Does this feature work for you? NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 3
E "Duplicate" Profile That Google Claims We Already Manage? Google Duplicates & Merges 5
T Can a Credit Union Create Google Posts Without Falling Under Prohibited Content? Google My Business & Google Maps 4
djbaxter Google My Business Bug Dropping SAB Businesses In Independence, Kansas Service Area Businesses 1
JamesGreenaway Google Insights query Google My Business & Google Maps 1
RobertCarnitas Google Posts Live on GMB, But Not Showing in GMB Dashboard Google My Business & Google Maps 1
rickvidallon How Do You Access The Buttons In Google My Business For Online Services? Local Search 4
NexstarNickR Google Star Rating: LSA vs. GMB All Things Google My Business [PRIVATE] (LocalU) 2
Phil Rozek Google Maps reviews get "New" label for reviews less than 1 month old Local Reviews 5
JoyHawkins Get Live Inventory Displayed on Your Google My Business Listing Google My Business & Google Maps 9
JoyHawkins Google Testing 2-Packs on Mobile Google News: Important Changes & Features 4
Paul Gregory Google Maps default location bias distance and the Google Maps Places API Google Algorithm Discussions 2
Chris Ratchford Google Analytics - setting up goals for click-to-call Organic SEO 4
L Google ranking in Legal Field Organic SEO 1
Cherie Dickey Something funny going on in Google Maps... am I missing something? Google My Business & Google Maps 1
hajnasiewicz Google Marketing Kit: Create Video Local Content 3
S Google LSA Lead Board - How to manage? Paid Search and Local Service Ads 1
krystaltaing Google My Business Bulk Verification Limit Reached? Multi-Location Issues 0
K Unable to get verified in Google for SAB Local Search 15
Matt Chauhan Google Maps showing category that doesn't even exist Local Search 1
djbaxter Brightlocal Tool shows Large Google Local Search Algorithm Update March 10, 2021 Google Algorithm Discussions 1
D Local Services and Google my Business Paid Search and Local Service Ads 4
F Google Maps Citation confusion? Google My Business & Google Maps 3
K Google requiring storefront photos Google Duplicates & Merges 4
Rich Owings Google community challenge to update 100,000 businesses Google My Business & Google Maps 0
cleverlyengaged Advice on Landmarks/POI/Unclaimed Google Map Locations? Google My Business & Google Maps 6
R What steps should I take to get my suspended and denied Google My business approved? Help & Support for Google Local 1
Jac Google My business Photos - Uploaded but not reflecting on contribution page Google My Business & Google Maps 3
AndySimpson Google My Business Opening Date - What Date Should You Use? Google My Business & Google Maps 2
Lanerizz Google Analytics 4 Organic SEO 1
M Google Local Services Ads - Lack of Leads Paid Search and Local Service Ads 14
rustybrick Google Local ranking update? Google Algorithm Discussions 12
harmony How Does Google Choose Service Options in a Review? Local Reviews 6

Similar threads

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

Most UpVoted Answers

LocalU Podcasts

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Google Product Exert

Top Bottom