Google rewrites nearly 61% of page titles in search results. It’s a practice that the search engine giant started years ago.
Most of the time, it does it for a good reason. And they also documented why they do it.
It can still be annoying to have your title rewritten.
But here are 10 of the most common scenarios in which Google is likely to rewrite your titles along with advice for avoiding this rewrite.
Length is the most common reason for Google to rewrite titles
Usually, Google changes the length to make the title fit the device.
The sweet spot to prevent rewriting is 51-60 characters.
Match the title tag to the H1 tag
When reformulating your title, Google starts with your HTML title tag, but sometimes they might use your H1 heading.
That’s why matching your H1 to your title typically drops the chances of rewriting.
Don’t break titles
“Best Smart TVs 2023 – Reviewed by Experts (User Tested)”.
Google is much more likely to rewrite titles broken up into different sections.
If you need to break the title, use the right separator
Google prefers the dash “-”.
And it usually picks parenthetical text over brackets.
Use keywords that closely match how users find your page in Google search results
The more closely they match the less likely Google will try to rewrite it for the sake of the user.
And getting a better match between headline (title) and intent will improve your CTR.
Avoid repeating keywords in the title
Google will likely rewrite your title if it repeats even a single word.
Try to use synonyms or shorten the title.
For example instead of:
Netflix – Finding the Best Netflix Alternatives for 2023
You can simply write:
11 Best Netflix Alternatives for 2023
Avoid irrelevant boilerplate text
By itself, boilerplate isn’t bad, but Google rewrites it if it’s irrelevant.
Make sure that every title is unique, and that the text is complete
If there are gaps, Google is likely to fill them in.
Keep your titles up to date
Every time you update your content, you should consider doing the same with your title as well.
Beyond following these guidelines, make sure you’re aware when Google rewrites one of your titles so you can better optimize them.