Weird Indexed Title Issues

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I purchased a 4-letter aged domain some time ago that was previously redirected to another domain and I've decided to build a site to see if I can rank with this. I'm staying within the niche on the new site. It's just a small 100-page site plan for now. The redirect is dead and I now have a live site on this domain. However, what I'm noticing is that some of the search results are showing the old domain that it once was redirected to in the title AND the 4-letter domain itself. For discussion purposes, let's assume the site it redirected to was titles Old Oranges and my new site is New Oranges and that the post is Best Blue Widgets.

The titles are showing up as follows:

Example: Best Blue Widgets - New Oranges - Old Oranges

Very weird to me that the pages/posts are getting indexed, they're just affixing the "Old Oranges" to the titles. I can't explain this tbh.

I'm using SEOPress.org to control the titles and meta descriptions. Settings all seem to be correct. I've purged Cloudflare as well, thinking that might be the issue. I've added the GA and GSC as well, along with submitted page and post sitemaps. The sites are not even on the same server of course, so it doesn't seem to be an issue there.

As of this morning, I enabled noodp (Do not use Open Directory project metadata for titles or excerpts for all pages.) thinking that this might be why the old domain is displaying. Done as a "shot in the dark." Have no idea really.

Any suggestions on what else I should check or do to fix this? Or is it likely a sign that the domain is trash and I'm already dead?
 

Ryuzaki

お前はもう死んでいる
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Any suggestions on what else I should check or do to fix this? Or is it likely a sign that the domain is trash and I'm already dead?
No, I don't think it's a sign the domain has a problem.

What happens is Google is trying to serve their users. Sometimes they'll display the old destination domain and URL and title tags because they think that's what the user expects to see for that query, even though they know that it no longer has a 301 redirect in place.

All of that usually clears up over time, for one, and secondly when your current site begins to gain trust and authority and branding signals of its own. At the start you'll see wonky stuff like this.

In my experience it's just another case of "Google thinks it knows better for you what your title tag should be than you do".
 
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Thanks @Ryuzaki this helps a lot. I'm going to give it some time to clear up. I did notice a few bad links that I need to disavow, so I'll do that, but other than that, I'm going to let the first 50 posts I published this week sit and see if the titles recalibrate. Evaluate things as time progresses.
 
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@Ryuzaki I wanted to fill you in here with an update to share information. You were right, many of the pages are starting to finally remove the old titles. Not all of them, but some. So I reckon that's a good sign here!

I plan on updating some unique titles and meta a bit more this week in SEOPress. Right now I just got it up and running to see "how it indexes." I'll probably add some more in-content links and images to see if that causes things to uptick and update more.

However, I discovered another hurdle here with this...



The Backlink Profile

I noticed a lot of bad links due to domain history, the previous 301 and age. TBH, I don't care if I lose power here. It's a good enough 4-letter domain for me to still want to keep testing on it and try to start from scratch with it. Primarily do to some (very little) good link relevancy, age and short name.

That said, I'm curious if you think I should disavow some of the poor domains linking. Semrush is showing me some toxic backlink domains. I'm thinking of disavowing all these and even those on the mid tier to toxic edge to just clean things up. Thoughts?

The domain is 17 years old (reg date 2004), so it has had some links in prior use that were not favorable and it was abused. Wondering what the best approach here would be. As you can see, I'm not using it for sheer power as it's not really there, but the domain name / brand is what I like most.



It's not crazy powerful, but a good name worth tossing 100 - 200 posts at I think.

Looking forward to hearing from you!
 

Ryuzaki

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@mrpotato, I'd only disavow what I know is either toxic or completely off the topic of the domain (like if it was picked up and used for a pharma site and got some pharma links, etc.). I wouldn't take SEMRush's word for it, but I'd let them help me filter down for sure.

If a link is from a low-power domain, that doesn't necessarily make it a bad link, just a weak one. But I'd definitely watch out for PBNs and Web 2.0 automated PBNs and all that kind of trash, for sure.