Thursday, February 2, 2012

Google Title Tag Bug Causing Untitled Snippets?

Yesterday Keri Morgret, a contributor here, SEOmoz associate and owner of Strike Models pinged me asking if I noticed complaints of people noticing Google labeling the title tag in the search results as "untitled."

This is not all that uncommon, especially if there is an HTML mess up with the title tag or Google gets confused with the site's true title.

At first, I thought it was a one or two off case and an issue with the site at hand. I looked into the code on one example and something seemed off in that case.

But now I am getting reports of more and more users complaining of this. I received emails and tweets of people showing me that a search for [adwords keyword tool] even shows an untitled blue link in the Google results:

Google Untitled Example

I am not sure if Google tweaked their title tag detection techniques recently, but it is possible something may be up.

Forum discussion at SEOmoz Forums.

Update: John Mueller from Google commented on this on my Google+ post saying:

John Mueller - +Aaron Bradley as far as I know, this is just a quirk with this particular URL, and not something general that has changed.

We are always working on improving how we pull and display titles in search (see ), but this particular URL is a bit of an edge-case that shouldn't be seen as a representative of any general change in that direction :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Links In IFrames Pass Value In Google

Michael Martinez posted a thread at High Rankings Forums basically confirming earlier reports that Google will see and pass value of a link within an iframe.

Michael said he ran his own independent test.

Michael said:


So I designed a simple two-stage test in December to see what would happen. The test is such that if the link passes anchor text in the first stage there is no need to try the second stage.

I embedded an iframed page on one of my older sites. It is well-indexed, has never been penalized, and has sufficient inbound links that I was confident it would be recrawled and re-indexed within a short period of time. It is also a low traffic site (it used to have more traffic a few years ago) so I felt it was probably a safe place to run a link test without attracting too much attention.

The iframed page only contains one in-body HTML element, a link pointing to with the anchor text of "jill whalen says search engines crawl iframes". This was, until I ran my test, an expression that did not appear in Google's search results (when you wrap quotes around it).

I let the test be through the holidays and checked it today. The expression now appears in Google's search results.

He is extremely confident about his test that Google can crawl iFramed pages and follow the links within them.

Forum discussion at High Rankings Forums.

Image credit via ShutterStock for links and frames.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Google +1 Button: A Geo Signal?

A WebmasterWorld thread has a webmaster asking if it would be dumb for him to remove the +1 buttons from his web site.

The reason he is nervous about removing the button is because he is worried that Google might use it for geotargetting sites or as another personalized ranking feature, combined with localized content.

We all know that +1s are currently used for personalizing the results. If you friends +1 something, it can and does affect the results you see in the Google search results. But what about at an aggregate? Currently, they do not.