December 9, 2013

Thanks Google, But No Thanks: Please Don’t Substitute My Title

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As Bill Slawski wrote in his post about How Google May Rewrite Your Search Terms, the Hummingbird update is not the first time that Google is rewriting content.

With the implementation of Hummingbird, I believe that exact match SEO will be much less effective, as I wrote about previously. However, there are times that Google may get rewriting wrong.

This year our company went through a rebranding process. This included a name change from J-Town Productions Ltd. to J-Town Internet Services Ltd. However, as you might imagine, after being on the web for over 15 years, Google thinks we want to be called J-Town Productions.

Even though our title tag is simply

<title> Jerusalem Internet Services< /title>

Our search results display J-Town Productions:
2013-12-09-titrletag-rewrite

This is not just on our home page which we optimize for our brand, but on internal pages which we optimize for specific services.

Our title tag for our Web design page is

<title>Jerusalem Web Design</title>

However Google insists on inserting our previous corporate name in the title of search results.

2013-12-09-titrletag-internal-rewrite.jpg

We have updated our Google assets and resubmitted to directory listings such as Dmoz. Perhaps if and when they are all updated by the powers that be, the SERPs will display our new name – or even just the title as configured in the title tag.

I don’t really mind if Google uses contextual search for search queries, so it does not pay attention to exact match results and tries to “help” those of us searching to receive results based on what we meant, not what we said (exactly). However, sometimes this is going to cause problems when we want an exact match. In such cases, Google often gives us the option to find what we are looking for (maybe) as in the following instance:

Showing results for design jerusalem
Search instead for dezine jerusalem

However, for content publishers, webmasters and, yes, even SEOs, Google gives us no option to correct their incorrect assumptions when rewriting our content, even if we are playing by their rules and adhering to international standards.

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