How Bing Chooses Your Webpage Titles

It can be frustrating for webmasters to carefully craft the perfect title for a page, only to have a search engine decide to replace it with what they consider to be a better one. So Bing has published a new blog post explaining how they choose the titles for webpages, and why they might replace yours with something else.

In one example, Bing chose to move the company’s name from the end of the title, where the company placed it, to the front of the title instead, when a searcher was searching specifically for the company name.

Query: Contoso
The Contoso webmaster has set the Title tag as:
Home Ware: Bedroom, Kitchenware, Garden Ware, Hardware – Contoso’s
The title Bing selected may look like this:
Contoso’s – Home Ware: Bedroom, Kitchenware, Garden Ware …

This does provide a better user experience for the searcher, as they might have missed the fact it was the Contoso website if the company name were all the way at the end of the title.

OpenGraph is used by Bing in its search titles as well. Webmasters using OpenGraph annotations should always check to ensure that the fields are valid and correct to avoid any problems with titles stemming from wrong annotations.

Bing also selects different titles from a variety of external sources that they use. This includes ODP/DMOZ listing information and anchor text. Unfortunately, it can be hard to change your Open Directory Project information if it is outdated and that is what Bing selects to display.

They also remind webmasters not to block the Bingbot, as it will also affect displayed titles. If this happens, they will instead display an extremely short title, such as simply the company name without any keywords.

Bing does suggest that webmasters remove generic titles, including "home" and "about us," and instead use something that’s descriptive without being too long or repetitive. Additionally, Webmasters should always avoid having multiple pages with identical titles.

About the author

Jennifer Slegg began as a freelance writer, and turned to search engine optimization and writing content for the web in 1998. She has created numerous content-rich sites in niche markets and works with many clients on content creation, strategy, and monetization. She writes about many search industry and social media topics on her blog, JenniferSlegg.com and is a frequent speaker at search industry conferences on SEO, content marketing and content monetization. Acknowledged as the leading expert on the Google AdSense contextual advertising program, she runs JenSense, a blog dealing exclusively with contextual advertising. She is also the founder and editor of The SEM Post. She is known by many as her handle Jenstar on various webmaster forums.