The Google Title/Header Change Does Not Impact Rankings

There are a lot of people asking if the title/header change Google made on August 17th has any impact on rankings. Like, is Google uses the new title it itself generated for ranking purposes. The answer is no, there was no ranking change with this – as I wrote originally.

I did cover this last week, but it was in the big Google announcement about this change and was likely overlooked.

The clearest response from a Googler on this question was from John Mueller of Google who said “no” this does not impact rankings:

Kevin Indig asked “If Google rewrites my title, does it take keywords in the title into account when it measures the relevance of a page based on the new or old title?” John said “no” as you can see above. John then added later “This is purely a display change. This is not meant to change rankings. It’s easier to separate things out for testing.”

Danny Sullivan from Google said it originally in a more confusing way. Well, it was confusing because Google’s new title thing uses the content on the page a lot more for the title. Google’s ranking system uses your content on your page. So technically, content on your page does impact rankings. But the title change is a display change and was not related to rankings.

Here is a video from Friday where John Mueller said the same thing, it starts at 27:22 where he was asked:

The title tags and SERPs and and now Google is doing more of taking the H1 tag or at least on page content and kind of replacing that. So my question is, is Google moving away from using the title tag as more of a a weighted factor now or have they already done that because again we we optimize tile tags to make sure it’s
descriptive and it makes sense but if Google’s not really using it as a ranking factor. Is there any point so I just wonder if that’s a step in that direction and moving away from the reliance of title tags?

Here is how John Mueller responded:

Yeah. I don’t know what what the future will bring but at least at the moment it’s not the case that we’re saying title tags are irrelevant. They still matter for search, they do matter for for rankings as well. So even if our systems kind of rewrite something, then it’s not the case that we would say your page is irrelevant for what you had as a title tag. We would still use that for search.

Here is the video embed at the start time:

Anyway, so we have two Googlers say this change was unrelated to a ranking change.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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