How to Get the Best Google Search Titles – Don’t be a Jerk

Google recently has refined how they create search result titles. If you want to improve your ranking on search you should: “Focus on creating great HTML title elements. Those are by far what we use the most.”

But, how does a regular person go about creating “great HTML title elements”?

NOTE: In most WordPress websites an HTML title element is generated by your page or post title. You can confirm this by browsing a published web page on your website. Float your mouse over the tab in your browser for that page, you will typically see the web page title element in the popup tooltip that appears. Depending upon your theme settings it may also have your domain or company name appended to it.

My Simple Advice

Don’t publish right away, save your content as a draft and walk away for a few moments. Briefly step out of the room, have a snack, stretch your legs. The purpose is to do something that breaks your concentration, with the idea that it will help you have an open mind when you come back into the room to review your work.

Once you’ve returned, take a minute and think about your intended audience and what your page’s purpose is.

What question is your page answering? How is your page going to help your audience? With this in mind, create a concise page title that describes the web page.

Brainstorming Idea

If you are having trouble coming up with a page title try something like this. Pretend you are in a huge rush and need to describe your content to a friend super-quick before you hang up the phone.

Give yourself 10 words or less to do this. Just blurt out what comes to mind! Write it down. Then try it again a few more times, refining it each time. Always try to find the least amount of words that fully express your content, the search result title is restricted to a certain number of characters, so you must be brief.

You could find a great web page title this way (it’s how this web page’s title was created).

You Want To Be Successful?

Do NOT try to keyword stuff, do NOT use trendy phrases that aren’t related to your content. Don’t use bait and switch tactics and don’t use click bait in your titles.

Also, don’t imply in your title that the article is about dogs when 80% of the content actually discusses how superior cats are. BTW: Cats vs Dogs… Come on, isn’t it obvious? 😉

Don’t try to trick people into viewing your content.

Basically, be helpful and don’t be a jerk.

Google’s Your Friend

Google wants to be thought of as someone you always turn to for help. Someone who is trying to help you find the best pair of shoes to go with that special dress, or the best off-road tires for your 3/4 ton pickup towing a 27′ trailer on BLM land.

Their reputation is built on the quality of their referrals, so they must be confident that the search results will be valuable. Content creators need to work with Google and not fight them in order to succeed in the long run.

Always Remember

Finding the best results for an individual search is what Google does. To partner with them effectively you should provide great content that answers specific questions that real people have. Content that is valuable to them.

Write concise page titles that follow this same principle.

Google makes changes to how they do things almost every single day. You do NOT need to chase every change they make to try and “game” SEO results. Focus on providing your audience useful advice, entertainment and information.

Refer to these Google articles and learn more about their search index’s use of page titles. Often Google may create their own search index page title if the content creator hasn’t created a page title at all, has a misleading title, or has simply done a very poor job of making one.


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Author:  Scott Cannon

Helping NPOs & businesses for over 30 years as a technology consultant. I now focus on helping people use their website and social media more efficiently and effectively.

I've been told that I'm friendly, helpful and honest to a fault. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't heard it myself.   :-)

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