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Listing Lots Of Cities In Title Tag


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6 replies to this topic

#1 CathyS

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 08:31 PM

I did some copywriting work for a storefront website -- e.g. A local store buys an online catalog and puts his store on the front cover so to speak.

I couldn't do much SEO work as I didn't have access to the title and description tags. I did figure out where the web storefront provider got information for the title and description tags and could make some adjustments ... .

What was interesting, was that the providers had listed numerous cities in the title tag ... which was the same for all pages. So the title tag went something like this: NAME OF COMPANY, MAIN PRODUCTS, CITY 1, CITY 2, CITY 3, CITY 4 .... CITY 20.

On the actual pages, the web provider had a laundry list at the bottom of all their main products in very small type.

The result was that for each page of the site, bots would find a product plus a city.

I must say, that my client was doing well in organic search. If you typed in one of his products plus the city, he usually ranked above the fold. Not always.

I was concerned that some of these techniques might be spammy. I looked at Google's guidelines, and didn't see anything there to indicate a problem.

Now I have another client with stores that serve several cities. If the above is not spammy, I would like to try putting the cities in the title tags of his pages ... but I'm a bit afraid to.

I will appreciate any advice you may have ...

#2 qwerty

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 05:58 AM

QUOTE
So the title tag went something like this: NAME OF COMPANY, MAIN PRODUCTS, CITY 1, CITY 2, CITY 3, CITY 4 .... CITY 20

How long would that make the title (in words and characters)?

#3 Jill

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 07:33 AM

You could try it and see how it does. If it works great, if not, you could try something else. No harm, no foul.

#4 CathyS

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:55 AM

QUOTE(qwerty @ Mar 29 2010, 03:58 AM) View Post
How long would that make the title (in words and characters)?



38 words, 270 characters w/o spaces, 309 characters w/spaces

I just noticed it looks like they took out the description tag I wrote and stuffed all the cities in there, too.

The keyword tag is filled with all the products that are listed in the tiny print on the body of all the pages. btw they are also live links to product pages.

Thanks.

#5 AgSEO

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 10:47 AM

Google will display about 60 characters but tests have shown that it will index all of the title tag ... you'll be diluting the effect of the other keywords in there though...

Why not make a new page for each city or product + city ?? That way you'll have one page per product + city combination ... highly targeted page = better ranking ... rather than trying to rank every page for exactly the same phrases.

Also get rid of the body text links & the list of products on each page. That's gonna look really spammy to the search engines and could hurt your rankings.


#6 kieronhughes

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 05:14 AM

QUOTE(CathyS @ Mar 29 2010, 02:55 PM) View Post
38 words, 270 characters w/o spaces, 309 characters w/spaces

I just noticed it looks like they took out the description tag I wrote and stuffed all the cities in there, too.

The keyword tag is filled with all the products that are listed in the tiny print on the body of all the pages. btw they are also live links to product pages.

Thanks.


At the end of the day, the point of being highly ranked in a search engine is to attract visitors. If you are number one, but have a hugely spammy title tag and description, then the chances are some (not all) people will be put off by that.

It's "best practice" to keep your title tag to a length that will be fully readable to people performing the searches. So roughly 60 characters (including spaces). However, as the above post mentioned, Google do take into consideration the words in all of the title tag, even if it can't be seen completely by users.

At the end of the day it is a very spammy technique, and it would be much better to have a page dedicated for each location/product you are trying to rank for.


#7 qwerty

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:58 PM

There's certainly a pretty wide grey area between keeping the title short enough for Google to display the whole thing and spamming by overstuffing the tag.

I'd say you can go beyond the 60 or 65 character limit without worrying, as long as you consider what the title is going to look like in the SERP. Think about where it's likely to get cut off and whether that's going to affect your clickthrough rate. For example, if I'm putting the client's branding at the end of the title tag, I'm OK with having that branding cut out of what's displayed on the SERP for some pages, or I may abbreviate the company name in order to get make it visible. On other pages, I may consider the branding important enough that I'll put it at the beginning of the title, or keep the title short enough to make sure it's displayed.




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