We have a website, let's say - www.example.com and each week a new article is posted to a URL in the form of www.example.com/articles/x-y-z.
We redirect visitors that reach www.example.com to the current article (or another article of our choice) while each article page has its own <title> tag.
Google search results for example show the article's title for www.example.com and not example.
How is it possible to set the title displayed in the search results to a different title, specifically - example?

The redirection is done via javascript and not 301, this is mainly for sharing purposes.
so the article could be shared on Facebook with its own og meta tags and the "general" URL could be also shared with general tags and but still lead our users to the latest page.

Edit 2
After adding a sitemap to webmaster tools - Google search results show Example as the title of the URL. This is an improvement and a step towards the desired result. However, this text is not defined anywhere in the <title> or <meta> tags. Where does this text come from and how can it be edited? We would want something like Example - Foo Bar as the title. Is this somehow related to the "Property name" settings from Google Analytics? (our Google analytics are linked to the webmaster tools)

  • 2
    Which is the kind of the redirect? 301, 302, JavaScript?
    – Zistoloen
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 12:36

1 Answer 1


I think this is a synchronisation problem of updating the Google databases. When you 301 redirect the home page to an article, you say to Googlebot the new home page is the article but Google takes more time to take into consideration a redirect than a title change. That's why I think Google updated your title without taking into consideration the redirect yet.

Otherwise, you shouldn't redirect the home page to an article because it confuses Googlebot and your visitors. If a visitor or Googlebot wants the home page by getting www.example.com, you need to provide them this page. Moreover, you avoid this kind of problem.

  • 3
    I agree. It is bad form from a user stand point to redirect the home page to an article. If you want me to read the article, then motivate me or post it on the home page or at least a good sized snippet. From a webmaster point of view, you will never have a consistent performance for your home page which should be specifically tuned to for site overall. It should be the top of your theme pyramid and should define your silos.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 14:39
  • I agree with you on this for the general case but our still, even without redirection there is the issue of the title of the page that changes for every article vs. the general title we want to be displayed in the search results.
    – David
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 16:10
  • 1
    "even without redirection" - Google is still picking up the title from the new article as the title text in the SERPs for the main domain?! (Assuming you have tested this for a period of time without any redirection.) I find that hard to believe... Google must be linking these pages somehow? FWIW, I'd wager that Google is probably able to follow JavaScript redirects these days (I imagine it would have been at the top of the list of understanding JS in determining search results).
    – MrWhite
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 20:17
  • @w3d I meant that even if the main page will contain the article without redirection I will want to have a different title for each new article but to have example in the search results. Actually this is the main issue, I mentioned the redirection to give more precise description of the layout. Google does follow JS redirects.
    – David
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 8:42

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