Google appears to be experimenting with changing page titles within their search listings to elevate brand name. The change shows that Google is, in some cases, ignoring the title tag meta data (which is not unusual in itself) and bumping the brand name to the front of the page title followed by a colon and the keywords.
Google often rewords the title headlines within the search results to make them more attractive, but this particular change is worth noting because it goes against the traditional line of thought that your most important keywords should go first within the page’s title. Perhaps Google is starting to see more relevance with branding.
Here’s an example search for “Lincoln Nebraska Performing Arts”
<title>Performing Arts Theater Events Midwest Lincoln Nebraska (NE) – Lied Center for Performing Arts</title>
When you view the source code it’s obvious that Google moved the brand name to the front bumping the keywords back. This is how it was listed in the code.
We’ll keep you posted on this topic if it continues to grow. Regardless, Google knows when people are looking for a specific business by name and will adjust its search results to increase clicks and user satisfaction. It is always advisable to keep building your business’s brand and regardless of your title tags you’ll do just fine.