We all might have known that Google released an update by the end of July stating that it will automatically rewrite the meta title tags appearing on the Search Engine Result Pages. They also identified that the rewritten tags mostly are taken from the H1 title tags and anchor texts used on a website. All these updates are made so that Google serves its users in a better way enabling them to find the pages with the relevant content they are looking for. We also knew that the rewritten title tags don’t mean that we have to stick to them. We are allowed to change the title tags manually and write according to our convenience based on our visitors. So, there is no hard rule that we should stick to the title tags written by Google as they mentioned that the title tags are dynamic and reactive to changes.
Which title is used for ranking purposes?
Concerned about the ranking of web pages, Google confirms that it will use the original old title tags that were created by the website owners manually even if they are replaced in the SERPs. During the Google Search Central SEO hangout recorded on September 3, 2021, one of the SEOs put forward the question of ranking. The person wanted to know whether the old title or the new title will be used for ranking purposes. Google’s John Mueller replied that they are still using the old titles for ranking purposes but it might change soon. Even if Google has rewritten your webpage title missing out on any of the keywords, SEOs need not have to worry about rankings as Google uses the original title tag and the elements present in it to rank your web pages.
The other question which most of the SEOs put forth after the release of this update is whether website owners or Search Engine Optimization Specialists can rewrite the title after being changed by Google. They constantly asked this question because they believed that Google will rewrite the most relevant title for their web pages, considering the search queries and keywords shooted in the search box. John Mueller says “No, that is not recommended”. He breaks the misconception which many SEOs had that Google knows better. The titles replaced by Google are not superior titles and they do not promise higher traffic to the websites. Only the website owners will know their sites best, and their audience best. There is no strict rule that SEOs should blindly follow the rewritten titles. They can change the titles if they feel their ideas will be worth it.
Over and over, John Mueller suggests to people to spend time researching keywords and ways to write the best and attractive title tags to grow in terms of traffic. So, the time spent on writing the title tags and descriptions is still worth it, and continue doing them.