A client recently asked us to investigate what was happening with the title of their Google listing. When searching for their company name, Google was dropping the optimised Meta Title tag for the home page and displaying a different title which was not on the page anywhere. This was not happening on Yahoo and MSN, only Google.
After some deeper investigation, we noticed that Google was ignoring the optimised Meta Title tag and instead, was pulling the title from the company’s dmoz listing.
The Meta Title tag on the page was optimised with search terms relevant to the home page however in doing this; the company name had been omitted from the Title tag. The problem here is that when searching for the company name (which does not appear within the title tag), Google will automatically use the dmoz company listing as this is obviously more targeted to the search query.
For the client in question, their original dmoz listing was an old listing that was set up with information that was no longer fully accurate.
So what do we learn?
If your company name does not appear in your Meta Title tag, Google will display your dmoz title as a default for searches relating to your company name. However optimising your Meta Title tag is still an important factor that search engines use to determine the relevancy of a page against the search query.
In this case, to maintain your optimised title tag on Google’s listings for company name related searches, you must include your company name as well as a relevant home page search term(s) in the home page Meta Title. This will not only support your brand but it will avoid Google using an old dmoz listing in favour for your optimised title tag.