Google updates site names in search results after numerous complaints
The fix is rolling out and while it does fix a number of inappropriate site names, it does not resolve all the reported issues.
Google pushed out a fix to resolve some of the inappropriate or unexpected site names selections displayed in its search results. This comes days after Google posted a web form asking for user feedback about site names that were inaccurate, inappropriate, or wrong, as we reported earlier this week.
Google added site names months ago on desktop and last year on mobile search.
The issue. Google sometimes can disregard the specified site name and replace it what it thinks the site name should be. For example, when it came to searching for [salesforce], Google was showing a space between “sales” and “force,” and the CMO of Salesforce called it “extremely damaging to our brand.”
The fix. Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, posted an update in the Google support forms saying a fix was pushed out that resolves some of the issues. “We recently rolled out a change that seems to be helping with some of the cases reported here and through our form (and likely some others that weren’t reported),” he wrote. “This change may take time to populate so that internal pages also reflect updated sitenames,” Sullivan added.
It resolved the issue for Salesforce, as you can see from this screenshot below:
Not fixed for all. However, issues weren’t resolved for all users. Glenn Gabe shared some examples of site names not resolved by the fix on Twitter. “Here are 3 examples of site name problems that were not fixed with the changes rolled out by Google yesterday. The worst is DNN Software that says “Weight Loss Forum”. The others are just wrong & one is causing legal issues,” he wrote:
Controlling site names. Google back in October explained that Google Search uses a number of ways to identify the site name for the search result. But if you want, you can use structured data on your home page to communicate to Google what the site name should be for your site. Google has specific documentation on this new Site name structured data available over here.
Upgrading the favicon. Google also recommended revisiting the documentation for favicons for the latest best practices. Google is now also suggesting you provide an icon that’s at least 48 pixels and follows the existing favicon guidelines.
Ads. This is also rolled out to the Google search ads on desktop, so the size of the site name, favicons, and also the ad label will be more prominent in mobile search. In fact, Google rolled out the “Sponsored” label in mobile search last October and today on desktop, officially replacing the “Ads” label from January 2020.
Why we care. When Google gets your site name wrong, it is upsetting and unprofessional. It can also cause confusion and legal issues for some businesses.
It is good that Google is working to address the issue. We eagerly await a resolution for all sites.
New on Search Engine Land