Google go and change the rules…
Or rather, they re-interpret the rules.
This article shows an interesting move by Google to fiddle with site titles. It appears that no matter how well planned or thought out your site titles, maybe with enhanced SEO in mind, Google may change that when it appears in site listings, if the Google machine deems it’s own interpretation of your site is better.
Apparently, Google has been inundated with complaints over its stance but it is standing firm. Google’s Matt Cutts is quoted in the article as telling SEOs: “We reserve the right to try to figure out what’s a better title.”
So, all that you have learnt about SEO and the need for descriptive titles may have just gone out of the window if Google deems the title of your page to be ‘sub-optimal’!
It appears repetition of your title in keywords or header tags is a definite candidate for Google intervention but the biggest problem is not even Google appear to be clear on when, how and why a site’s title will appear differently in their rankings from the one included in the page meta-tags.
Have you been affected by Google’s intervention? Is this Google abusing its power or just some simple editorial control?