For some pages in the search result, Google has been rewriting the title tags. Most of the time H1 tag of the page is used as a replaced often. Generally, small tweaking is done by Google to adjust the title. In some occasion, name of the business may be added in the end. However, Google is overriding the text completely now-a-days.
Regarding such action by Google, first observation has been made on 16th August. Through tweets, it has been proved that massive rewrite is done by Google. Scale of rewrite to for the title is not known. Wide spread practice of Google has made it evident to the SEO.
Evidence has suggested that Google has been taking down text from H1 tags for most of these rewrites. However, text has been taken from the anchor text of the internal link sometime as well. Some has noticed that dates have been inserted within the title tag also.
Based on the theory, it seems that Google can take any relevant content from the page. Later on, it can be used to display as the title in the SERPs. Similar thing has been noticed with the meta description also as Google has adjusted the description to offer better search snippet according to the query of the user.
According to Brodie Clark, update may not be limited to couple of factors only. It is said “From what I can see, there is no “one factor” involved with this change, with an algorithmic approach designed to create better titles in Google’s search results as a whole. Whether that be taking the new title from a header tag or effectively pulling it out of thin air.”
By the SEOs, it has been observed that the title tag is usually shorter than original when it has been created by Google. It seems an effort to enhance relevance and readability at the same time.
In case, it is more than a mere live test then it may be notified to the SEOs later on. Few questions can be asked to Google’s John Mueller in coming days also.
How it can affect the SEO?
By Google, A/B tests are run often in the live search results. So, everything may go back to the normal in the coming days also.
However, it can be an initial stage also that may lead to a permanent change in the future also. If Google handles the title this way in the future then it can offer good results for the websites.
One of the reasons behind replacing the title is to increase its relevance in the eyes of the searcher. As more relevant title is highlighted, searchers may be more inclined to click on it.
To know whether you should be bothered by this update or not, you can look at this guidance from John Mueller. He has said earlier, “Titles are important! They are important for SEO. They are used as a ranking factor. Of course, they are definitely used as a ranking factor, but it is not something where I’d say the time you spend on tweaking the title is really the best use of your time”