Google Replaces Title Tags With Site Names For Homepage Results
Google Adds a New Feature: Now Shows Site Names for Homepage Results
In the mobile search results for the entire site like the Homepage, Google is showing only site names. Now Google is not showing title tags for the mobile search results where the users search for the name of the website that usually shows the home page.
Google Search Central documentation for the site names states:
“Currently, Google Search supports site names for homepages at the domain level and not the subdomain and/or the subdirectory level.”
Google will now show generic names for a website in mobile searches. This new feature does not work for the subdomains.
For example, A mobile search for ‘Search Engine Journal’ will show a generic name of the website in the SERPs. The generic name shown would be ‘Search Engine Journal’. Though the title tag for this is ‘SEO, Search Marketing News and Tutorials’.
The non-branded searches for keywords will show the title tags as the old version does and the ‘Brandname + keyword’ searches will also show the title tags.
Why is Google using the site names?
Google has started using site names because it wants to make it easier for users to identify the specific website in the search results.
Google's official announcement stated:
“Today, Search is introducing site names on mobile search results to make it easier to identify the website that’s associated with each result.”
The new feature is available for English, Japanese, French and German languages and it will begin to show up for other languages soon.
Where does the new feature not work?
A search for the compound name ‘SearchEngineJornal’ and ‘searchenginejournal’ return the same results with the new website name.
Searches for the compound word ‘HubSpot’ show the tile tags like the old version. But the search for ‘Hub Spot’ with a space in between works and returns the site name.
Searches for the words ‘Wordfence’ and ‘word fence’ return the same site name.
Using structured data for the new site names feature
Google recommends the use of Website structure data type. Previously, it was not required because Google knows that a website is a website and structured data was not required to tell Google that it is indexing a website.
But it has now changed and Google is using Website structured data type. It is using the ‘Name’ property to understand what the site name of a website is.
Google’s Search Central recommends the following for the use of structured data:
“The Website structured data should be on the homepage of the website. By homepage, we mean the domain-level root URL. For example, https://exampel.com” is the homepage of the domain and https://exampel.com/de/index,html is not the homepage.”
What to do if the website has an alternate name?
The Website structured data type allows telling Google what is the alternate name of the website.
“If you want to provide an alternate version of your site name (an acronym or shorter name), you can do this by adding the alternateName property.”
Google’s documentation explains that it is using on-page, off-page and metadata information along with structured data to determine what is the name of a web page.
Google uses the following to understand the site name:
- Website structured data
- Title tag
- Headings (H1, H2 …)
- Open Graph Protocol metadata specifically the og.site_name. This Open Graph property is optional but recommended.
The new site feature by Google makes mobile search results look attractive. It is better not to have too much clutter for home page brand name searches. Though some are talking about how the title tags can have an influence on such searches.
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Reference - https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-site-names/467892/
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