I have a website which title I changed about a month ago. The website is a classifieds website which is dynamic, using php.

The title changed from "Free classifieds" to "buy and sell free classifieds".

The strange part is that after about two weeks the title showed in google search results changed to the new title, BUT when I searched for "buy and sell free classifieds" my website didn't show up at all. I mean I have gone through over 30 pages of search results and my site isn't listed.

However, searching for "free classifieds" still display my website at the same position it was before the title change.

Any reason for this? How patient should I be?

FYI the website has a sitemap submitted and updated, good meta tags and is W3 valid etc etc, so that is not the problem here.


  • 3
    Did it occur to you that your simply doesn't rank in the top 300 for that term? Just because your title is the search phrase doesn't mean it is going to rank well for it.
    – John Conde
    Jan 6, 2011 at 3:28
  • @John: That is not the case here! Jan 6, 2011 at 11:33
  • how do you know?
    – John Conde
    Jan 6, 2011 at 12:59
  • I saw that you have a great answer from DisgruntledGoat. Did he not answer your question fully? Feb 14, 2011 at 19:19

1 Answer 1


It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few months. It depends on many factors, including how popular the page is (and how many links point to it) and how often the page itself is updated (less frequent updates = less frequent crawling).

Although Google has found the new title it may not have updated its actual index that would list your site for the new terms. It's also possible that "buy and sell free classifieds" has more competition that simply "free classifieds" which pushes your site down further.

You should just keep an eye on it for a few more weeks and see what happens. Perhaps add "buy and sell" a few more times within the page if it's appropriate. Don't forget to keep and eye on your "Free classifieds" ranking too, because there's a small chance it could fall a few places now you have "diluted" the page title.

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