A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Search engines are constantly evolving, or at least changing…
In the past, Google wanted to have your brand at the front of your homepage’s title tag. They’d even help by generously rewriting it for you!
Therefore, I told clients to have their company first in their homepage’s title. If not, Google would revise it, including a colon then appending your non-branded statement, anyway. At least you could gain a bit more control over how it looked.
Recently though, I’ve noticed Google allowing the non-branded portion to appear before the brand.
Why does this matter?
First, search engines slightly favor pages with keywords early in the title. Perhaps they view it as more relevant. You need to balance this with readability though, ensuring a high clickthrough rate.
Second, the homepage usually earns the most link equity. The majority of external pages link to a site’s home versus deeper content. This means that page is a prime opportunity for targeting a keyword phrase.
A popular company may wish to highlight its brand instead… there are few hard & fast rules in SEO. However, never assume a best practice is evergreen. Follow the latest developments to avoid losing out on the best organic results!