The end of September saw some big changes to SEO due to a large amount of updates in such a small window of time. One of the biggest changes was an update to title tags and category descriptions that primarily impact e-commerce sites.
Taking the spotlight for SEO news is Google for changes both known and unknown that they implemented. Title generation in search results now utilize different pieces of information and during all of this, they may have lost some of your historical data for the few days prior to the update.
Google’s Title Tag Changes
Google has been experimenting heavily with title tag changes over the last few years, changing or completely swapping out the snippets that appear on search results. The latest change is to how they choose each title tag for a page.
Newer pages are showing shorter title tags and often omit locations when multiple are listed. Instead, we’re seeing the brand name being included at the end in these instances. Not all sites are seeing this change though as Google appears to be taking the information from a tag page rather than directly from the webpage content.
The Shift Away From Category Discussions Full of Fluff
In today’s digital marketing landscape, e-commerce sites either need to be highly specialized or cater to a large audience with the latter being more popular. With this comes a larger number of product categories.
Category descriptions are extremely helpful for search engines even if customers won’t ever read it on the page itself. Placing custom content on these pages has been the practice for quite some time but the changes to Google’s search results could require a new approach to the matter.
Taking a look at whether or not these changes have an impact on overall search result rankings, we found some interesting information that does alter the snippets but not necessarily growth. Lengthy pieces of content are used to clue search engines in on what the page contains when a site has dozens or hundreds of pages.
A Quick Case Study on the Changes
One case study looked at an e-commerce site that has been updated periodically to specifically change product and category descriptions to measure how it changed which SERP the page landed on. Going from full-length descriptions that could take up an entire page down to a few paragraphs and then to just a single paragraph had no short-term impact.
Even with these less intense descriptions, Google was able to successfully crawl each page and still yield the same search rankings at the end of the day. What this means for SEO teams is transitioning from lengthy descriptions into more concise and impactful snippets. Whether this is a result of Google wanting to change the game or an adaptation to a faster-scrolling userbase we aren’t sure of yet.
Kick Digital Media will continue to monitor these changes to provide you and your organization the most up-to-date tactics needed to thrive in today’s digital marketing landscape. Ready to move up on Google’s search results? Take the first step by reaching out for a consultation today.