What is Google’s new update?
Google has rolled a new change in the way they present their search results on mobile devices for brand keyword queries. The engine is now prioritizing the site name for brand name queries of a company instead of the contents of the home page’s title tag.
For example, before this change, a query of the company name, “rover”, would show the contents of home page’s title tag in Google’s mobile search results:
With this change, a query of “rover” on mobile now presents a result with the site name in search results along with the favicon and URL:
Currently, site names are available for mobile Google Search results in English, French, Japanese, and German, with more languages to follow in the coming months.
Why is Google using only site names?
Google strives to make it easier for users to find the specific website that is associated with the brand name they are searching for. By using only site names in search results, Google believes it becomes a lot easier to find the specific brand being searched. These types of keywords are seen as being navigational in nature; that is, a keyword that has the intent of getting a person to the brand’s home page.
This update does not affect results for non-branded or expanded branded keyword queries. Keeping the company Rover as our example, If one were to search “dog walking” or “rover dog walking”, the title tag’s content will appear as the link text for the home page:
How Can You Optimize Your Home Page?
Because of this change, AMP Agency recommends brands to add their desired website name using structured data on their site’s home page so it appears properly in Google mobile search results. Specifically, we recommend the use of WebSite schema markup on the home page as depicted in the example below:
This implementation allows Google to recognize the “name” property as the site name of the website and provide accurate results on result pages.
The use of structured data is also beneficial for websites with alternate names, like acronyms and shortened names. The Website schema markup allows for these variations to be added to the home page as well.
How can Google understand your site name?
Beyond Website schema markup, Google Search does use a number of other sources to determine the site name for a search result including on-page, off-page, and meta data information.
With the addition of schema markup, brands should ensure the headings (H1, H2, etc.), Title Tag, and Open Graph Protocol meta data (og:site_name) are optimized for the same site name.
Keeping up with Google changes are just a part of our SEO Services. Contact us for more information about how we can best position your site for search.