Google Webmaster Central describes the site title, or title tag, as a quick representation of the content of a result and its relevance to a specific query.
Sounds basic right? However, one thing you may not know, or dealt with, is the fact that Google reserves the right to alter a title tag if they feel it isn’t the best representation of a page.
Over a year ago, Pierre Far – a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst – explained that algorithms will generate multiple alternative titles so that pages aren’t constrained to having the same static title tag for every search query.
The basic thought behind this to increase click-through ratios by displaying a “better,” more concise title tag or change the tag for semantic terms allowing users to easily recognize a relevant page. Yes, anyone who has ever written a PPC ad can tell you that a relevant, concise ad leads to an improved CTR, but what happens when the title isn’t a “better” choice for the user, or when it makes a site look incompetent?