It’s common practice that your Title will be truncated if it’s too long and pulled from DMOZ or Yahoo!’s directory, but lately Google’s use of Titles is making a lot of site owner’s scratch their heads. A domain name overriding a Title Tag’s contents? Titles crafted from anchor text, ALT or H3 tags? Titles coming from text used in inbound anchor link text–even if that text is nowhere on your site.
Complaints and concerns can be heard all over the web at Google’s webmaster forums, Webmaster World, and here. But not all webmasters are experiencing or even bugged by this. Some are reporting that the changes are improving click throughs.
If you’re seeing an altered Title, look through your source code and see if the source comes from your site. If so, you can make adjustments like rearranging tags, switching header tags, expanding alt text, etc., to get the Title you want. Also read, “Changing A Site’s Title and Description,” at Google’s Webmaster forum.
As always, don’t panic. Don’t make drastic changes to your site. Let things play out. This could be Google testing out potential algo changes or even a bug. In the meantime we’ll continue testing and will contact Google about these changes.