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I've included my page title in the title tag in this format: " blah blah blah | sitename ". But for some reason it's showing up on Google search results as " sitename: blah blah blah ".

It shows up right on the actual tab itself, and even right on both Bing and Yahoo search, but different on Google search. Can't figure out why.

EDIT: Let me clarify: I really doubt that this is due to Google having not crawled my website yet. The title it previously had was very different from this (several different words), and the title that currently shows up on the search is not even remotely similar to my old one. Hence the confusion. And I've already submitted it and a sitemap to the Google webmasters tool.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 2 '13 at 17:12

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Cause Google didn't crawl your website after the change, that's why. –  alfasin Mar 2 '13 at 5:38
    
Sorry, I should have clarified that that is probably not the case since the title is not my old one (which was very different). So it's changed, it just hasn't changed to exactly the same thing, which is why I'm confused. And I've already submitted it to the webmasters tool along with sitemap and all. Will remember to post in the other stackexchange for next time though, thanks! :) –  NeonBlueHair Mar 2 '13 at 5:47
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It sounds like Google is just trying to be clever and reformat the title into a more common format. –  Barmar Mar 2 '13 at 5:50
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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Google may change the title of your page in their search results (since 2012-01):

We use many signals to decide which title to show to users, primarily the <title> tag if the webmaster specified one. But for some pages, a single title might not be the best one to show for all queries, and so we have algorithms that generate alternative titles to make it easier for our users to recognize relevant pages.

See also the documentation at http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35624:

Google's generation of page titles and descriptions (or "snippets") is completely automated and takes into account both the content of a page as well as references to it that appear on the web. The goal of the snippet and title is to best represent and describe each result and explain how it relates to the user's query.

[…]

While we can't manually change titles or snippets for individual sites, we're always working to make them as relevant as possible.


See also similar questions:

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Interesting. Didn't know they did stuff like that. I checked some other sites and noticed that eBay is the same, with the search listing and page title being different the same exact way. –  NeonBlueHair Mar 3 '13 at 20:43
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Google can take up to 30 days to recrawl your site and update the meta info it has for your site. I think there are tools to push the latest files and sitemaps to Google.

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Sorry, I should have clarified that that is probably not the case since the title is not my old one (which was very different). So it's changed, it just hasn't changed to exactly the same thing, which is why I'm confused. And I've already submitted it to the webmasters tool along with sitemap and all. –  NeonBlueHair Mar 2 '13 at 5:48
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If you have registered your site with Dmoz or Yahoo it may be pulling the title tag from there. Put a nodir and noodp in your meta. If you are using a CMS like wordpress or Joomla ensure no plugins or modules are overriding your titles.

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