When we talk about on-page SEO, most SEOs give a long checklist. This checklist also includes the optimization of the title tag of the web page. But you will be surprised to know that the title tag is just a tiny ranking factor.
For those who don’t know what is the title tag, a title tag is an HTML code tag that gives a web page title. Web browsers read the title tag and show the title to the browser title bar. Search engines also use this title to show it on search engine results pages.
Google’s John Mueller confirmed this while answering a question about titles tags. We all know that Google has now started rewriting title tags for several web pages in search engines. Many times, google shortens page titles and sometimes Google adds company names to the end of the title.
Also see: Is URL length an SEO factor?
After Google started rewriting titles, several webmasters became panicked as they didn’t know how to properly optimize the title tags to avoid the rewriting by Google. To answer this, here’s what John Mueller had to say.
One of the things I think is worthwhile to keep in mind is we do use titles as a tiny factor in our rankings as well.
So it’s something where I wouldn’t necessarily make titles on your pages that are totally irrelevant.
He next said that Google primarily uses web page content for ranking purpose. So, you shouldn’t worry if Google is rewriting the title tags of your web pages. If you really want to improve the ranking of your web pages, focus on content and optimize that.
It’s not a critical issue if the title that we show in the search results (we call these title links nowadays), if that doesn’t match what is on your page, from our point of view that’s perfectly fine.
And we use what you have on your page when it comes to search.
So from that point of view it’s like you can put the things
in your title tag on your pages and maybe we’ll show that, maybe we’ll tweak that a little bit.
But essentially your page is what we use as a basis for the rankings.
We also know that content and backlink profiles are the two most important SEO factors. So, you should just focus on writing the relevant title. Even if the title is a tiny factor, it is a ranking factor. So, don’t forget to put your primary keyword there.
Also see: Is there any ideal title tag length?
In recent years, Google has made several changes to its search algorithm for offering relevant results. The title was a huge ranking factor almost 15 years back but it became a tiny factor after Google started focusing on relevancy and semantics.