Google publishes new help documents on titles and descriptions in Search

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 12 Oct, 2021
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More guidance for publishers on controlling how Google shows their site in the search results.

Titles and descriptions.

Following their recent changes to the way web page titles are generated, Google is continuing to provide guidance to publishers with two new help documents on controlling how titles and descriptions appear in the search results.

Title links

Google has coined the handy new definition of title links for the linkable title of a search result on Google Search (and other properties)Title links.

“Google uses a number of different sources to automatically determine the title link, but you can indicate your preferences by following our guidelines for writing descriptive <title> elements “

The help document covers:

  • Best practices for writing descriptive <title> elements
  • How title links in Google Search are created
  • Avoid common issues with <title> elements

You can see the full document on title links here.

Snippets

Google defines a snippet as the description or summary part of the search result on Google Search (and other properties)Snippet.

"Google uses a number of different sources to automatically determine the appropriate snippet, including descriptive information in the meta description tag for each page. We may also use information found on the page, or create rich results based on markup and content on the page.”

The help document covers:

  • How snippets are created
  • How to prevent snippets or adjust snippet length
  • Best practices for creating quality meta descriptions

You can see the full document on descriptions (snippets) here.

Google’s change to the way web page titles are created, back in August, caused significant commotion and upset among publishers and SEOs. The scale of the change has gradually been rolled back following robust feedback (link), and Google is continuing to provide clarity which is welcome. 

These help pages provide detailed guidance on how these elements are generated in the SERPs, and best practice to enable you to control what is shown for your site.

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