Aye, I've changed a few, especially after looking at the title tuner. Others I have changed because I realized how little I actually liked the title. On occasion, I have deleted the entire title; however, what I end up is still in the spirit of the original title. I try to avoid keyword stuffing as it usually makes for a miserable title. Whether this is black hat SEO - I'm not sure. I thought I knew what google wanted and accepted, but recently I have lost nearly 90% of my traffic - it shows what I know.
My title changes, but I notice it doesn't change it in the URL. For example I had originally started a hub called 'Born again without a clue for women' then I changed it to 'Born again with a passion'. (I've since deleted that one) But it still would say the original title in the URL. I don't know why.
I change my titles at times, just for testing purposes. I usually return to my original title when done testing. I don't go too far from my original keywords used for the hub. I have completely changed titles on some which I left in place because I like them. It might account for some of the low traffic on some of my hubs.
This is something I have wondered about. For instance, if I write a hub called, 'new music coming in 2012'. A year later would it be smart to change the title to 'new music coming in 2013'. Of course the content of the hub would also need editing. But this way you get the bonus of a years worth of age on the Hub.
It's something I know some Hubbers do, but with Google making all the crack downs, is it something they would consider a Black Hat SEO tactic?
It's basically a method you use which is not allowed but you get away with it. So back in the day it was keyword stuffing, using masses of bad links and other stuff. Any SEO you do falls into one of three catergories, white hat, which is acceptable methods that will help drive traffic. Grey hat which are frowned upon but you should probably get away with them. Then black hat, methods which are not allowed but experts exploit loop holes to drive traffic. The Google updates we keep seeing are designed to eliminate sites and pages that use black hat and now we are seeing them crack down on grey hat methods as well.
Black Hat is a manipulation technique (exploit) used to trick or excessively bend the guidelines for submission of links, data, content to a Search Engine. Each Engine has its own set of parameters or guidelines that insure proper indexing, placement, ranking and SERP for. The aforementioned is known as White Hat.
For example, a slug or permalink can be altered or a "faux title" created by a plugin, used to force indexing for Wordpress versus clean, real Title, Link and Keywords, etc that match the content of the page.
Thanks for all of the great information. I don't know if I am getting into trouble with what I have done or not. I haven't intentionally done anything to drive traffic to my hubs. I'm not sure that it would matter since I still haven't been approved for a Google AdSense account. Could unintentional violations keep me from getting approved? Would Google be reporting these to me?
You should definitely give it a try. It's worked well for me. I like to sort the "avg position" column and look for queries where the average position is low, but not too low. I should point out that I don't necessarily always change the title, but sometimes some of the body text.
Since I joined HP there has been a constant battle against the rise and fall of traffic. We are often encouraged to tune our titles, edit our content and generally try to improve our Hubs. Now with the threat of having...
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