Google showing odd meta titles for our website

6 replies
  • SEO
  • |
For the last 3 years our website has been listed perfectly in Google, I suspect because I supply a sitemap directly for webmaster tools to make use of. In all of this time, if you ever did a siteurwebsite you would get our complete listings with all meta titles and descriptions correctly shown. Approximately 4 weeks ago however everything changed. When you now try a siteurwebsite you see all of our listings but 50% of the time the meta titles have been changed. They are now showing as our 'meta title - Something Extra'. When I click on the link it goes to the correct page with the meta title as it should be. I have searched on page and in code and on most occasions there is no mention of the keyword anywhere to be found that Google has decided to attach to the page.

My questions therefore are:

1. Has anyone else seen this happen to their websites?
2. Can anchor text on in bound links somehow affect what they decide to display?
3. Does it sound out of the ordinary and should I be concerned with contacting them?

The problem I have is that I now have a few pages which show the meta title in Google as:

'Brand X blah blah blah - Brand Y'

So Google has decided to attach a competing brand name to the end of a product from another brand from our website. Before it was just happening to categories which looked odd but didn't cause me to worry so much.

Any help appreciated.

Many thanks,
#google #meta #odd #showing #titles #website
  • Profile picture of the author fuzzydude
    Incidentally if anyone wants to test it, then just go to Google and enter site:<insert the site name in my footer>

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  • Profile picture of the author trevord92
    Google can and do amend page titles & page descriptions when their algorithm thinks it knows better than you do what your page is about.

    It's difficult to control as they can do it just for certain searches.

    That said, since the brand they're adding is the first part of the title of the main (index) page of your site, it wouldn't surprise me if their algorithm thinks it's just adding your site name to the shorter titles.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hansons
    Thats why algorithm of Google is very hard to understand....

    Is your website Hacked? Try ->
    Is Google Analytics installed Properly? Test ->
    Impersonal Google search? Check ->

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  • Profile picture of the author fuzzydude
    I thought that it might just be on the short titles but I have also noticed some of my longer ones affected, in such a way that Google makes them too long to fully display. Having looked through, it would appear that Google has been appending on the first four keywords from my home page meta title. The reason it's bizarre is that we don't have our company name in the home page title, we have a brand we sell and one of our seo keywords. Google obviously thinks the home page should be company name etc and it's a good idea to append this onto other search results.

    Thanks to all who read and answered.

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  • Profile picture of the author fuzzydude
    I updated our home meta title yesterday, requested a refresh of said page in webmaster tools and will update on my findings when Google gets around the updating its indexes.

    Thanks again.
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    • Profile picture of the author raviv
      It is hard for me to be accurate but from previous experience with various CMS, I feel your CMS global meta keyword settings has a default title (in this case it could be | Title) which means the home page has your site URL in front of the actual title that you type in for the home page.

      Similarly, for the categories and individual product pages, your global CMS meta settings are set in such a way that words are added to the specific title you input at different levels. If you can sort this out, then the page titles will be as you expect it to be.
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