So how does Google and other search engines decide what title and description to show for each page ?
Google says that it uses a number of different sources to determine the best title for the query but also provides you the webmaster with a way to indicate your preference.
Usually, if you write a clear & concise title, Google tends to respect your title.
The best practices for indicating your preferences of the title are
- Use the <title> element in the <head> to indicate your title preference in the document structure.
- Write a title that is descriptive and concise. Avoid overdoing the titles by stuffing as many keywords as possible. Keyword stuffing also generally leads to a poor CTR.
Google considers some of the following to choose which title to show
- H1 of your document
- H2-H6 if the primary H1 is less relevant
- Other content in the body of the page
- Other text contained in the page
- Anchor text on the page
- Anchor text of links pointing to the page
Google starts rewriting titles when you have a) over optimized b) stuffed with keywords c) repetitive titles across the site d) to match the user’s query and improve CTR.
Google only displays 50 to 60 characters of a page’s title tag.
For maximum visibility, it’s recommended that you follow this guidance by keeping your pages’ title tags under 60 characters.