More threads by Mike Pedersen

Dec 18, 2012
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I typed in keyword city and my clients clickable title in the 7-pack was the domain URL. Any suggestions why they pulled that and not either business name or keyword?

It's the ONLY URL title in the 7 pack.
Something in the source code of the website is most likely telling Google that it is more relevant as a title.

Hard to investigate without a link though.
I've seen this before and I think it's just an anomaly. It wound up correcting itself later in the day. I don't recall if I was signed into Google when I saw it or not but I thought it was odd.

Has the problem resolved itself yet?
Keenan is right. Usually the first one or two listings in the 7-pack have some variation on the landing page title tag show up as the name of the business. The kicker is that Google usually rewrites the title tags at least a little bit, rather than shows them verbatim. This has been going on for over a year.
I've seen her change title tag to something really bogus like "Subscribe to Comments". Another was "Call Mary for appointment". And for one dentist the title tag was just "Dentist". For one of my clients she changed title tag from name to just 4 cap letter initials, which was totally meaningless for converting Dental patients. :p
OTOH - as Linda has alluded to - sometimes Google's fancy footwork doesn't work so well:

Good one Phil!

Here is a Google help doc that explains what's up.

It lists some problems that contribute to the chance of titles being overwritten then says:

If we’ve detected that a particular result has one of the above issues with its title, we may try to generate an improved title from anchors, on-page text, or other sources. However, sometimes even pages with well-formulated, concise, descriptive titles will end up with different titles in our search results to better indicate their relevance to the query. There’s a simple reason for this: the title tag as specified by a webmaster is limited to being static, fixed regardless of the query. Once we know the user’s query, we can often find alternative text from a page that better explains why that result is relevant. Using this alternative text as a title helps the user, and it also can help your site. Users are scanning for their query terms or other signs of relevance in the results, and a title that is tailored for the query can increase the chances that they will click through.

If you’re seeing your pages appear in the search results with modified titles, check whether your titles have one of the problems described above. If not, consider whether the alternate title is a better fit for the query. If you still think the original title would be better, let us know in our Webmaster Help Forum.
Does Google explain why the sudden shift to show the homepage title tag rather than the company name from the places page?

Is the goal to kill the meta description? This kind of spoils brand authority in places when you replace the company name with the title tag, and remove the meta description.

Either way it's a very forceful push to reward companies with local. So kudos to us!
Does Google explain why the sudden shift to show the homepage title tag rather than the company name from the places page?

Sorry confused, not sure I understand.

The problem is the opposite from where I sit and it's been this way for quite awhile now. She's NOT showing title tag in the pack. (Accept sometimes for the A spot.) And most companies would rather have their carefully worded title tag show than just their name.

The top 3 - 4 she tries to scrape the name off the site and sometimes gets it wrong. The bottom 3 - 4 she pulls the name directly from the G+ L page.

Is there some other sudden shift you are referring to?
Hi Linda,

I snagged this one today. The places page removed the company name and showed the title tag instead.

Edit: KW: in home care henderson nv, geo: henderson, nv

odd local listings.png

odd local listings.png
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Ahhh, that's interesting. 1st time I've seen title tags like that for a long time.

Interesting too that it appears to be just that search term. Because for dentist henderson nv and plumber dentist henderson nv, it looks like it's still showing business name instead of title tag.

Maybe she's testing or maybe things are a changin' again. :confused:
It surprised me as well, which is why I thought I would drop by and see if it was a trend or not. :D

For now, it looks like they are testing a lot of different versions.

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