February 7, 2024

Does Google Use Title Tags?

When you are looking at  Search Engine’s Results Pages (SERPs), the title of a web page is usually the first thing you see. In SEO this is known as a title tag and typically only consists of around 60 characters. It gives a brief description of a webpage before you click on it, and will often contain keywords. This way, you can have a better idea of whether or not the website is relevant for your search purposes. But does Google use title tags? Does changing the title tag affect your ranking?

Yes, Google does use title tags to determine ranking. They are used by Google when crawling as an indication of the content contained on the page, and will rank the page accordingly. As the first line of a search result, they give a brief description of a webpage so that users can decide if the page is relevant for them. With properly optimised title tags, it is more likely that users will click on your website.

Keep reading to find out more about title tags, how they can affect ranking, and how to optimise them.

Are Title Tags a Ranking Factor?

When Google crawls a website, the title tag indicates what content is contained on a web page. Google then uses this information to determine what pages are relevant for a search query and ranks them accordingly. Title tags should therefore be a brief and concise description of a webpage’s content, optimised using keywords relevant to specific topic.

How To Write A Title Tag

There are a number of ways in which you can optimise title tags to ensure that they can achieve the best rank possible on a SERP. 


Title tags should be no more or less than 50 – 60 characters long. Outside of this length, it is likely that Google will change them automatically and truncate them, which could have a negative impact on User Experience (UX).


Ensure that you perform research to retrieve relevant keywords to use for title tags. Using primary keywords in a title tag will also help with ranking and CTR, as it will show that your webpage is relevant for user queries. Remember to avoid keyword stuffing, and ensure that keywords that you use have the right intent.


Ensure that across the website, you are using a consistent writing style and tone of voice for all title tags, and that relevant keywords are used in title tags across the whole site. 


It is important not to duplicate title tags. Using exact duplicates will likely harm ranking, as Google favours unique and helpful headings.

Does Changing The Title Tag Affect SEO?

Changing a title tag is likely to have a big impact on SEO ranking. For this reason, it is not recommended to change title tags unless you are re-optimising a web page, as making these changes could have a detrimental effect for SEO. If you do update a title tag, it is important to submit the updated page for indexing on Google Search Console.

Do Meta Descriptions Affect SEO?

Meta descriptions are short sentences that provide a brief description of the content that is on a web page. In previous years, meta descriptions were a key part of website optimisation to get higher rankings. However, due to the fact that these sections of text were too-easily manipulated to get higher rankings, they no longer provide any direct impact on rankings. 

Similarly to title tags, meta descriptions will give a user more information before they click on your website, which could influence an increase in CTR. An optimised meta description has up to 180 characters, uses appropriate keywords, and matches the content on the web page. 

While it is important to have meta titles for all the pages on your website, it may be worth noting that Google often chooses meta descriptions automatically, so don’t spend hours trying to craft the perfect description.

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Post by

Andy Blanchard

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