Google’s “Titlepocalypse” causes a drop in search traffic
Google’s recent Title Tag update has caused a significant disruption. It has affected roughly 20 percent of search results where Google is not showing publisher title tags.
As a result, websites are losing traffic. The loss of traffic is attributed to poorly rewritten titles on the search engine results pages.
It is important to note that search marketers who shared their data and showed the loss in traffic confirmed that the average position is still the same in the SERPs. It means that they did not lose search rankings but still saw a decline in organic click-through rate and, therefore, organic traffic.
Search marketer Lily Ray was one of the many casualties.
According to Lily, most of the loss in traffic is due to lower CTR.
Many other users reported a variety of issues that the title tag updated. Here are some examples of the problems publishers and website owners ran into:
- Google misunderstood the page and used the wrong location in the title tags for a business website that has multiple locations.
- Google incorrectly added the word “vaccination” in the title for web pages that were about the illness, not the vaccination for the illness.
- Google incorrectly capitalized the wrong words in the SERPs, creating an awkward title tag.
All these problems lead us to wonder if the Google Title Tag update was rushed. It clearly caused a bunch of problems that affected a wide variety of websites and made them lose valuable traffic.
Moreover, it also affected search results in sensitive niches, such as health and medicine. Some instances can even cause a heated debate between the pro-vaccination and anti-vaccination groups.
More problems in Search Console reports
In addition to this, Google also reported that there was a data loss in Search Console that affected reporting on August 23 and August 24.
Google assured that this is only a data loss in Search Console reports and does not affect actual traffic or discovery.
Here is the official statement:
“An internal problem caused a data loss in Search and Discover performance during this period. Users might see a significant data drop in their performance reports during this period. This does not reflect any drop in clicks or impressions for your site, only missing data in Search Console.”
Considering both these events, it is possible that you see relatively poor results in August when reporting traffic for your clients or managers. In that case, you should call out these two instances that may have affected your organic traffic reports for this month.