SEO using Yoast, Google title tags displaying wrong in SERPs

  • Amy
    August 28, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    We are using Responsive DP 8.0 with Yoast SEO plugin.

    After releasing site to Google earlier this month we are already getting fantastic positioning in the Google SERPs (which is great) – BUT there is a major problem: Several of our titles are coming up completely wrong!

    I know that google reserves the right to “re-write” page titles to suit the search query if it feels it has a more appropriate title than the one that was set, however, often I am getting a random listing titles appending to other listings in the SERPs. Often the title google is selecting has nothing to do with the page it is referencing.

    Example: I have a listing called”Super Fantastic Pizza”
    I do a Google search “Super Fantastic Pizza”
    Google result title: “Super Fantastic Pizza – Amazing Auto Repair Shop”
    (In the above example “Amazing Auto Repair Shop” is another listing on the site -that has nothing to do with the pizza place or the users query. This obviously make us look like idiots. How do I explain this to my Pizza customer? )

    On all our listing pages we have the listing widget on the sidebar that shuffles selected listings randomly. This is a real selling point for advertisers and is click-baity for users. I don’t want to delete it but it seems to be confusing the googlebot. Is there a way to disallow google from indexing the sidebar widget so this stops? In my above example if “Amazing Auto Repair Shop” is a featured listing and appears in the sidebar widget, over several pages on the site, maybe google thinks it is a very important piece of content and that’s why it is appending it to titles??

    Another problematic example – The Homepage:
    Our homepage is almost 100% dynamically generated. I have a carousel of listings, Tabs with Featured listings on random rotation, and a sidebar listings widget showing selected listings (also on random rotation). Because of this Google seems to be having a hard time understanding what our homepage is about, (despite providing a homepage meta title and description) and is often substituting my homepage title tag for a random listing title, which looks really bad in the SERPs and is terribly misleading: especially since the listing might not even appear on the homepage should a user click the link (since its randomly rotated).
    I almost want to disallow indexing of the homepage, (can I?) as its worse for it to come up wrong that not at all.

    I know there is no way to “Force” google to use the title tags you input into your pages (although I really wish there was!) But has anyone else had any trouble with the Page titles displaying wrong in the google SERPs using a PremiumPress theme? If so, were you able to overcome it? How?

    I guess maybe transforming my homepage to be static and generic with only information about the site itself and NO listings and removing the sidebar listings widget from all the pages might do the trick – but I hate to think I have to change how I want my site to look and perform just so that my titles display correctly in Google.

    I’d really appreciate any input, other users experiences, suggestions or discussion about this topic, it’s driving me bananas to have no control over something so important.

  • Clive
    August 28, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    This is really about the Yoast SEO plugin, and nothing to do with PremiumPress.

    Your best bet is to contact Joost (the Yoast Developer) and ask him, as he is totally immersed in the inner workings of Google.

    It may also be a bug in the Yoast plugin, which happens from time to time.

    HTH 🙂

  • Amy
    August 28, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Thank you Clive for replying to my loooong post, lol

    I had actually released the site to google prior to having Yoast SEO installed. (had no SEO plugin at first)

    I actually installed the Yoast plugin and re-submitted my xml sitemap thinking it might correct the problem (or at least offer more control), and I like enough of the Yoast features to keep it installed, though it hasn’t solved the title problem.

    I have read a lot of documentation in the past few weeks both on the Yoast website and Google help documentation and many other help boards with no real answers to be found.

    Alas, I shall continue to seek a solution and attempt to make small adjustments to our site until hopefully something works. I guess I was just wondering if other PremiumPress users had experienced something similar.

    Again thanks for your reply 🙂

  • Hemanta Chakladar
    Hemanta Chakladar
    August 28, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    If you have setup the meta title in SEO plugin, it takes sometimes to show the changed title and at. You won’t see the effect in Google search result immedietly after installaling the SEO plugin.

    I do use that plugin, without that problem. !

    Wait and see 💡

  • Aaron
    August 29, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Yoast has issues with contents wrapped within a [shortcode] quite common with plugins like Visual Composer which uses Shortcodes galore for building pages.

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