Jun 3, 2016

Search Engine Title Swapping: Make Post Titles Appear Before Blog Titles on Google

Search Engine Title Swapping on Blogger to Improve SEO
How your blog posts show up in Google’s search results is extremely important.  Since search engines take into account how frequently a displayed listing is clicked when ranking content, you want to make sure that your search results accurately reflect what your post is about.  Since the most predominant part of a search result is the post title, ensuring that it is displayed in full is very important.  But by default, Blogger does not have your search listings formatted that way.  

In the Blogger default template, the code is set up to display all of your posts with the name of your blog first, followed by the name of the post.  
When listing blog pages in search results you may want to tell search engines to list your blog name second and and your post title first.
MyBlogName - Title of My Best Post Ever”

Becky (who graciously let me use her blog as an example) has her blog posts showing up the standard way: 
Not optimized
However, from a usability, and thus SEO, point of view this format is not ideal. If you want to improve the way your results are displayed, and instead focus on the content itself, you want to reverse the order. This is called “Title Swapping” and it isn't very difficult to do. When you change the code in your template a little bit, you will get search results that look like this instead:
Kim six paint google
This format is better because there is a word limit in search results. If your blog name is really long, it is possible your search results won't even show your title.  And even if it is blog name is not very long, you still want your content title to come first, since when people are searching you don’t want the results list to look like:
MyBlogName - content
MyBlogName - content
MyBlogName - content
MyBlogName - content

Since it is much harder to tell the difference between the posts. If the length of the post title plus the blog name is too long, it is your post titles that get cut off. After all the work of optimizing titles and using the perfect keywords, this is the last thing we want to see happen!

You want to give searchers the best chance of finding something that is interesting:
Title of My Best Post Ever - MyBlogName
Another Awesome Post You Can't Miss - MyBlogNme
Maybe This is The Post You're Searching For - MyBlogName

Google Thinks You Would Like This - MyBlogName

To get this result you need to find this line in your template: (Make sure you have backed up your template before making any of these changes.. just in case)
Replace that text with:
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;index&quot;'>
<title><data:blog.pageName/> - <data:blog.title/></title>
<b:if cond='data:blog.url == data:blog.homepageUrl'>
<title><data:blog.pageName/> - <data:blog.title/></title>
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;item&quot;'>
<meta expr:content='data:blog.pageName' property='og:title'/>

It will take a while for google to update, since your content needs to be re-crawled for these changes to take effect, but soon your search results will be optimized!
Another option you have is to completely remove your blog name from search results. Some large websites and bloggers do this, but from a branding point of view I personally want to have my blog name in front of people any chance I can. Your site name is part of your brand and it should be making your content stand out. I don't feel any need to hide it.
An example of making your branding part of their search result is the Pillsbury website. When you see their search results, they have organically integrated their site name with their post titles.
If you were to look at their code, it would be:
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;item&quot;'><br />
<title><data:blog.pageName/> from <data:blog.pageTitle/></title><br />
<b:else/><title><data:blog.pageName/><data:blog.pageTitle/></title><br />
 That is GENIUS!

After replacing the HTML it may take a few days for the changes to be reflected in search results.  Search engines need to recrawl your content and replace the cached version of your title.   Just keep checking back! 


  1. Thank you so much for making it so clear and simple!!!

  2. I'm amazed at how easy this is, thanks for posting. :)