Google has published a new update a long time ago. In August, the search engine announced to use H1 headlines instead of predefined titles, if they fit better to the topic of the page. The whole thing got the name “Title Rewrite” and has the goal that these become more readable and above all accessible. Reasons for the replacement of the actually specified Title can be for example:
- The title is too long
- The title is overloaded with keywords
- The title contains little meaningful text, so-called boilerplate text.
In addition, since the update, Google only decides on one title per page, regardless of the search query.
As performance marketing experts, however, the question now arises as to the effects on ranking and CTR.
Title Rewrite and the impact on Google ranking
Good news first: According to various findings and statements on the part of Google, replacing the title in the search results with the H1 heading used has no effect on the ranking. That is, the presentation of the Title and the Title as a ranking factor exist independently of each other. John Mueller pointed out, among other things, that more ranking factors are needed than just a title tag.
Click-through rate and the impact of title rewrite
So far, we know that Google uses the H1 headlines or other appropriate text of the played out page in the title tag. But what does this do to the CTR? Because it is also certain: often the changes made by Google do not fit 100% to the intention of the web page, which could very likely result in a decreasing CTR.
Some pages show a drop in CTR of several percentage points, while other pages show only slight or no CTR losses.
Conclusion: No generalization of the effects possible
Currently, as with most Google updates, it is not possible to make a generalized statement about the title rewrite and its effects on the CTR for all pages. For each website, its subpages and the corresponding titles should be decided individually. Sistrix offers a function with which website operators can track the replacement of the title for individual pages. If the changes are to be reversed by Google, an indexation request in the Google Search Console after adjusting the title will help. However, it remains to be seen whether Google will take this into consideration.