Page titles are important elements to optimize for search engine results. I guess most webmasters are aware of this. The more targeted our page titles, the better. More targeted page title means it contains main keywords / phrases about the topic of the page.
It also means picking the right keywords / phrases that target visitors use when looking for information provided by the page. For example, if your target market are the Chinese locals from Hong Kong, page title should also match the language they speak and keywords they use.
In the case of this blog, I deliberately did not include the name and decided to use only the title of my blog post, just like the one below.
However, I found out that Google thinks it’s not the best page title to use for such content. So when someone searches for funny google statistics, Google serves search results with modified page title. For this search query, my entry entitled “Funny Google Search Questions” was altered a bit so the page title in search result is “Funny Google Search Questions – Search Engine Marketing Services …”. Note that “Search Engine Marketing Services” is not included in the actual page title.
Yes, it’s possible for Google to display altered page title. To me it’s a proactive way of helping visitors click search results. Maybe Google has data that people are more likely to click on listing with the “Search Engine Marketing Services from SEO Hong Kong” as an added page title element. A little longer but not long enough to adversely affect social media applications.
Should I change my page title to reflect this apparent hint from Google? Maybe not yet, but would be interesting to see how it would change user experience via web analytics data if I do so. Here’s what Google’s Matt Cutts has to say regarding the topic.