How i've got this far and not realised this is a mystery. It's only on the back of an email to one of my suppliers in which i asked them to change all the automated titles on my website that i discovered this. I asked them to change the "meta title tags" so they did. They took my word to the letter and so just changed the <meta name="title"> tag leaving the <title> tag as it was, not much help.
Thanks to a really helpful description here, i now know the difference.
The title tag appears in your HTML like this:
<title>Your page title</title>The meta title tag appears in your HTML like this:
<meta name="title" content="Your page title">The <title> tag is what feeds your browser title and is also what will appear in Google, see how i've subtely circled where the <title> tag appears in the two screenshots below.
As far as i can tell from a wide number of forums, blogs, SEO advice sites the <meta name="title"> tag is pointless. It is possible that some search engines (but not Google, Yahoo, MSN) use it but i wouldn't bother with it all.
This point is further backed up by looking in the source code of the top sites on the web, the following sites do not contain the <meta name="title"> at all, they just have a <title> tag:
- www.google.com (read more about www.google.com's optimisation)