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Google Clarifies Title Tag Guidance

Google updated the Search Central guidelines for controlling how it displays title tags in search. The update didn’t change the guidance itself, but it did make it substantially more straightforward and removed multiple ambiguities in the wording that made it difficult to understand.

Google Changes Title Tags

Title tags are meta elements whose purpose is to describe what a web page is about. They are also ranking factors.

For that reason, many publishers use the title tag to indicate what keyword phrases they want the webpage to be relevant for.

Google shows title tags in the search results pages (SERPs), which makes using keyword phrases in the title tags even more important.

Google rewrote title tags for years if its algorithms identified more descriptive text than the publisher provided.

De title tag rewrite feature in the search results dramatically increased in the summer of 2021, causing anguish in the publisher and sökmarknadsföring communities. Many reported decreases in search traffic attributed to Google having rewritten their title tags.

One study reported that more than 61 percent of the search results featured rewritten title tags.

Changes To Guidance On Title Tags

On October 08, 2021, Google published unique guidance on controlling title tags, titled, Control your title länkar in search results (Archive.org snapshot of original guidance here).

The updated title tag guidance changes clarify what they meant when using the word “headline.”

The word “headline” is ambiguous because it could mean either the title at the top of the webpage or a reference to the HTML heading element (H1, H2, H3).

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As it turns out, the original version of the guidance used the word “headline” to mean both the title at the top of the webpage and as a reference to the HTML heading element (H1, H2, H3, etc.).

While the title at the top of the page is usually a heading element, the new version of the guidance is more precise, as shown below.

Here is the original version:

“Make it clear which headline is the main headline for the page.”

This is the updated version of the guidance:

“Make it clear which text is the main title for the page.”

Here’s a section from the following sentence of the original version:

“…and it can be confusing if multiple headlines carry the same visual weight and prominence.”

The newly clarified version:

“…and it can be confusing if multiple headings carry the same visual weight and prominence.”

The original version of the third updated sentence:

&quot;Tänk på att se till att din huvudrubrik skiljer sig från annan text på en sida och sticker ut som den mest framträdande på sidan (till exempel genom att använda ett större teckensnitt, placera rubriken i den första synliga <h1> element på sidan, etc).

The updated version of the same sentence:

“Consider ensuring that your main title is distinctive from other text on a page and stands out as being the most prominent on the page (for example, using a larger font, putting the title text in the first visible <h1> element på sidan, etc).

As you can see, the clarification makes a big difference in making the intent of the guidance easier to understand.

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The last change is to the part that describes what Google uses to determine the wording in a title link displayed in the search results.

This is the original:

“Main visual title or headline shown on a page”

The updated version:

“Main visual title shown on the page”

Google Title Tag Guidance Clarified But Not Updated

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the guidance itself has not changed. What has changed is that the document is now less ambiguous and significantly more understandable.

Read the newly updated title tag guidelines here:

Control your title links in search results

Featured Image: Eugene Partyzan/Shutterstock



7 Ways To Use Google Trends For SEO & Content Marketing


7 Ways To Use Google Trends For SEO & Content Marketing

Google Trends is a surprisingly useful tool for keyword research, especially when using advanced search options that are virtually hidden in plain sight.

Explore the different Google Trends menus and options and discover seemingly endless ways to gain more keyword search volume insights.

Learn new ways to unlock the power of one of Google’s most important SEO tools.

The Value Of Google Trends

While Google Trends is accurate, it doesn’t show the amount of traffic in actual numbers.

It shows the numbers of queries made in relative percentages on a scale of zero to 100.

Unlike Google Trends, paid SEO tools provide traffic volume numbers for nyckelord.

But those numbers are only estimates that are extrapolated from a mix of internet traffic data providers, Google Keyword Planner, scraped search results, and other sources.

The clickstream data usually comes from anonymized traffic data acquired from users of certain pop-up blockers, browser plugins, and some free anti-virus software.

De SEO tools then apply a calculation that corresponds to their best guess of how that data correlates with Google keyword search and traffic volume.

So, even though paid SEO tools provide estimates of keyword traffic, the data presented by Google Trends is based on actual search queries and not guesses.

That’s not to say that Google Trends is better than paid keyword tools. When used together with paid keyword tools, one can obtain a near-accurate idea of true keyword search volume.

There are other functions in Google Trends that can help dial in accurate segmentation of the keyword data that helps to understand what geographic locations are best for promotional efforts and also discover new and trending keywords.

How To Use Google Trends For SEO

1. Get More Accurate Data By Comparing Keywords

Google Trends shows a relative visualization of traffic on a scale of zero to 100.

You can’t really know if the trend is reporting hundreds of keyword searches or thousands because the graph is on a relative scale of zero to one hundred.

However, the relative numbers can have more meaning when they are compared with keywords for which there are known traffic levels from another keyword phrase.

One way to do this is to compare keyword search volume with a keyword whose accurate traffic numbers are already known, for example, from a PPC campaign.

If the keyword volume is especially large for which you don’t have a keyword to compare, there’s another way to find a keyword to use for comparison.

A comparison keyword doesn’t have to be related. It can be in a completely different vertical and could even be the name of a trending celebrity.

The important thing is the general keyword volume data.

Google publishes a Google Trends Daily Trends webpage that shows trending search queries.

What’s useful about this page is that Google provides keyword volumes in numbers, like 100,000+ searches per day, etc.

Example Of How To Pinpoint Search Volume

I’m going to use the search phrase [how to lose weight] as an example of how to use Google Trends to get a close idea of actual search volume.

The way I do it is by using known search volumes and comparing them to the target keyword phrase.

Google provides search volumes on its trending searches page, which can be adjusted for what’s trending in any country.

On this particular day (September 22, 2022), the actress Ana De Armas was trending with 50,000+ searches, and the American ex-football player (keyword phrase [Bret Favre News]) was trending with 20,000+ searches.

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Step 1. Find Search Trends For Target Keyword Phrases

The target keyword phrase we’re researching is [how to lose weight].

Below is a screenshot of the one-year trend for the target keyword phrase:

Screenshot from Google Trends, September 2022

As you can see, it’s a fairly stable trend line from September 2021 to September 2022.

Then I added the two keyword phrases for which we have a close search volume count to compare all three, but for a 24-hour time period.

I use a 24-hour time period because the search volume for our comparison keywords is trending for this one day.

Google Trends ComparisonScreenshot from Google Trends, September 2022

Our target keyword phrase, with a red trend line, is right in the middle, in between the keyword phrases [Ana De Armas] (blue) and [Bret Favre News] (yellow).

What the above comparison tells us is that the phrase [how to lose weight] has a keyword volume of more than 20,000+ searches but less than 50,000+ searches.

The relative search volume of [how to lose weight] is 50% of the keyword phrase [Ana De Armas]. 

Because we know that [Ana De Armas] has a search volume of approximately 50,000+ searches on this particular day, and [Bret Favre News] has a search volume of 20,000+ queries on the same day, we can say with reasonable accuracy that the keyword phrase, [how to lose weight] has approximately a daily search volume of around 30,000 on an average day, give or take a few thousand.

The actual numbers could be higher because Google Trends shows the highs and lows at particular points of the day. The total for the day is very likely higher.

The above hack isn’t 100% accurate. But it’s enough to give a strong ballpark idea and can be used to compare with and validate extrapolated data from a paid keyword research tool.

Relaterad: How To Do Keyword Research For SEO

2. Discover Insights From Time-based Trends

There are two general ways to look at the keyword data: stretched across over longer periods of time and shorter time periods.

Long Period Trends

You can set Google Trends to show you the traffic trends stretching back to 2004. This is valuable for showing you the audience trends.

  • Upward Long-Term Trends: If a trend is consistently going up, this means you need to focus energy on creating content for this trend.
  • Downward Long-Term Trends: If the trend line is steadily moving down, then it may be a signal that audience content consumption is changing.

For example, review this five-year trend for [WordPress] the search term, WordPress the software, and WordPress the website:

An image of Google Trends tool showing a five year trend.Screenshot from Google Trends, September 2022

There’s a clear downward trend for WordPress in all three variations.

The downward trend extends to related phrases such as:

  • WordPress themes.
  • WordPress plugin.
  • WordPress hosting.

There are many reasons why search trends go down. It can be that people lost interest, that the interest went somewhere else or that the trend is obsolete.

The digital camera product category is a good example of a downward spiral caused by a product being replaced by something else.

  • The digital camera caused the downturn in searches for traditional analog cameras.
  • The iPhone started the downward spiral of the digital camera.

Knowing which way the wind is blowing could help a content marketer or publisher understand when it’s time to bail on a topic or product category and to pivot to upward-trending ones.

Relaterad: Content Marketing: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

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3. Related Topics And Queries

Google Trends has two great features, one called Related Topics and the other Related Queries.


Topics are search queries that share a concept.

Identifying related topics that are trending upwards is useful for learning how an audience or consumer demand is shifting.

This information can, in turn, provide ideas for content generation or new product selections.

According to Google:

"Related Topics

Users searching for your term also searched for these topics.

You Can View by the Following Metrics

Top – The most popular topics. Scoring is on a relative scale where a value of 100 is the most commonly searched topic and a value of 50 is a topic searched half as often as the most popular term, and so on.

Stigande – Related topics with the biggest increase in search frequency since the last time period.

Results marked “Breakout” had a tremendous increase, probably because these topics are new and had few (if any) prior searches.”

Related Queries

The description of Related Queries is similar to that of the Related Topics.

Top queries are generally the most popular searches. Rising Queries are queries that are becoming popular.

Screenshot of Google Trends Related Queries feature.Screenshot from Google Trends, September 2022

The data from Rising Queries are great for staying ahead of the competition.

4. Short-Term Trends Can Bring Massive Traffic

Viewing keyword trends in the short view, such as the 90-day eller ens 30-day view, can reveal valuable insights for capitalizing on rapidly changing search trends.

There is a ton of traffic in Google Discover as well as in Google News.

Google Discover is tied to trending topics related to searches.

Google News is of the moment in terms of current events.

Sites that target either of those traffic channels benefit from knowing what the short-term trends are.

A benefit of viewing short-term trends (30 days and 90 trends) is that certain days of the week stand out when those searches are popular.

Knowing which days of the week interest spikes for a given topic can help in planning when to publish certain kinds of topics, so the content is right there when the audience is searching for it.

5. Keywords By Category

Google Trends has the functionality for narrowing down keyword search query inventory according to category topics.

This provides more accurate keyword data.

The Categories tab is important because it refines your keyword research to the correct context.

If your keyword context is [automobiles], then it makes sense to appropriately refine Google Trends to show just the data for the context of auto.

By narrowing the Google Trends data by category, you will be able to find more accurate information related to the topics you are researching for content within the correct context.

6. Identify Keyword Data By Geography

Google Trends keyword information by geographic location can be used for determining what areas are the best to outreach to for site promotion or for tailoring the content to specific regions.

For example, if certain kinds of products are popular in Washington D.C. and Texas, it makes sense to aim promotional activity and localized content to those areas.

In fact, it might be useful to focus link-building promotional activities in those areas first since the interest is higher in those parts of the country.

Keyword popularity information by region is valuable for länkbygge, skapande av innehåll, marknadsföring av innehåll och betala per klick.

Lokalisering av innehåll (och marknadsföring av det innehållet) kan göra det mer relevant för personer som är intresserade av innehållet (eller produkten).

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Google rangordnar sidorna efter vem de är mest relevanta, så att integrera geografiska nyanser i ditt innehåll kan hjälpa det att rankas för flest personer.

7. Inrikta sökintentioner med söktyper

Google Trends ger dig möjligheten att ytterligare förfina sökordsdata genom att segmentera den efter typen av sökning som data kommer från, söktypen.

Genom att förfina din Google Trends-forskning efter typen av sökning kan du ta bort "bruset" som kan göra din sökordsforskning suddig och hjälpa den att bli mer exakt och meningsfull.

Google Trends-data kan förfinas genom att:

  • Webbsökning.
  • Bildsökning.
  • Nyhetssökning.
  • Google Shopping.
  • YouTube-sökning.
Screenshot of Google Trends showing the different kinds of searchesScreenshot from Google Trends, September 2022

YouTube-sökning är ett fantastiskt sätt att identifiera söktrender för innehåll med ordet "hur" eftersom många människor söker på YouTube med fraser med orden "hur" i dem.

Även om det är sökningar som görs på YouTube, är trenddata användbar eftersom den visar vad användarna letar efter.

En Google Trends-sökning efter hur, vad, var, när, varför, och WHO visar att sökfrågor som börjar med ordet "hur” är överlägset mest populära på YouTube.

Google Trends begränsar jämförelser till fem sökord, så följande skärmdump utelämnar det ordet.

Screenshot of Keyword Popularity on YouTube.Screenshot from Google Trends, September 2022

Om dina sökordsfraser innefattar instruktionsinnehåll som använder ord som "hur gör du" kan det ge användbara insikter om du förfinar din forskning med söktypen YouTube.

Det har jag till exempel hittat Youtube Sökning visar mer relevant information om "relaterade ämnen" och "relaterade frågor" än att söka med "webbsökning" valt.

Här är ytterligare ett exempel på hur användningen av olika typer av söktyper hjälper till att förfina Google Trends-data.

Jag gjorde detsamma hur, vad, var, när, varför, och WHO sökningar men den här gången med hjälp av Nyhetssökning.

Screenshot of Google Trends with News Search refinement selectedScreenshot from Google Trends, September 2022

Söktrenderna i Google Nyheter skiljer sig anmärkningsvärt från sökmönstren på YouTube. Det beror på att folk vill veta "vad" och "hur" typerna av information i Google Nyheter.

När du skapar innehåll relaterat till nyheter är det viktigt att identifiera rätt vinkel för att rapportera en nyhet.

Att veta att orden "vad" eller "vem" är mest relevanta för ett ämne kan vara användbart för att skapa titeln till det läsarna är mest intresserade av.

Ovanstående är vyn över sökfrågor för de senaste 90 dagarna.

När samma sökord söks utifrån 5-årsperspektivet blir det tydligt att sökorden av typen "vem" tenderar att spika enligt Aktuella händelser.

Som ett exempel på hur aktuella händelser påverkar trender, den största ökningen av sökningar med ordet "vem" inträffade dagarna efter presidentvalet 2020.

Varje söktypsförfining visar olika hjälp för att förfina resultaten så att de visar mer exakt information.

Så pröva söktypsvalen eftersom informationen som tillhandahålls kan vara mer exakt och användbar än den mer allmänna och potentiellt bullriga "webbsökningsversionen".

Lås upp den dolda kraften i Google Trender

Gratisverktyg anses generellt vara mindre användbara än betalverktyg. Det är inte nödvändigtvis fallet med Google Trends.

Den här artikeln listar sju sätt att upptäcka användbara sökrelaterade trender och mönster som är absolut korrekta, mer än vissa sökrelaterade data från betalverktyg.

Det som är särskilt anmärkningsvärt är att den här artikeln bara börjar skrapa på ytan av all information som finns tillgänglig.

Kolla upp Google Trender och lär dig ytterligare sätt att blanda olika sökmönster för att få ännu mer användbar information.

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Utvald bild: Studio Romantic/Shutterstock


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