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Title Tag Length & Readability


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13 replies to this topic

#1 tktex

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:07 PM

Hi all!

I know humans can view 70 characters max in a Title tag, but what is the general consensus for making a Title tag that exceeds 70 characters? In my experience, it appears that about 50% of top ranking sites limit a Title tag to 70 characters and the other half exceed it, having the Title tag continue on with ellipses. Any advice? Is it just personal preference? Do we know of any negative effects to spanning longer than 70 characters?

Also, is it more important to have a readable Title tag or a Title tag that matches keyword phrases exactly?

Thanks!

#2 Michael Martinez

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:08 PM

I don't know of any advantages to having a title tag longer than 70 characters. The words at the beginning of the tag are given the most weight, according to various search engineers. But so far as I have been able to determine there is no negative impact from having a title that runs somewhat longer than 70 characters.

On the other hand, it is inadvisable to stuff multiple targeted expressions into a page title.

#3 odlanor9

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 06:12 PM

From the results I get, I would suggest strategically placing your keywords in your title and content. Remember quality is always what you are after. If the visitor can tell that you are keyword stuffing or simply writing content to appease the SE's then it will not convert well.

IMO having more characters than necessary will not help you. Keep your titles catchy, concise and mysterious and people will click. The search engines will know from your meta tags what words to rank for.

#4 Jill

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 06:39 PM

I prefer longer title tags. See my Title Tag article for more info.

Pretty sure we've discussed this recently at the forum as well.

#5 qwerty

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:56 PM

I think it was your twitter question of the week for the newsletter a month or two ago.

#6 Guest_VinceWicks_*

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:39 AM

It sounds that you just need to use Google Snippet Optimizer. It'll help you for sure. It's helped me a great deal when I was on the fence.

#7 Jill

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:36 AM

QUOTE(qwerty @ Feb 6 2012, 07:56 PM) View Post
I think it was your twitter question of the week for the newsletter a month or two ago.


Ah yes! Good memory.

Here's the discussion about Title tags.

#8 tktex

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:45 AM

Thanks for the feedback and I agree with all comments made. I have been utilizing the Snippet Optimization tool, but I was more concerned with the readability of Title tags - is it okay to have variations of relatively similar keyword phrases all within the Title tag, because Title tags are for search engines and not humans. It sometimes looks awkward, but conveys the meaning of the page nonetheless.



#9 Jill

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:55 AM

QUOTE
because Title tags are for search engines and not humans.


Whatever gave you that idea?

#10 chrishirst

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:49 PM

QUOTE
because Title tags are for search engines and not humans.

If that were the case;

Why do search engines show the title element's content to their human searchers?

Why is the title element's content used in browser bookmarks and favourites?

#11 piskie

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 09:09 AM

QUOTE
because Title tags are for search engines and not humans.

I would be genuinely interested in where that came from !!

#12 tktex

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:04 PM

Ah, I simply meant in general we should write Title tags to appeal more to search engines (i.e. using keyword phrases in the Title tags, not sentences) than to make it snappy and easily readable (like a Meta description and on page content).

#13 Jill

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:25 PM

No. Title tags should do both, imo.

#14 qwerty

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:03 PM

The idea is to craft the title so that search engines will recognize its relevance and users will be compelled to click it. They'll understand that it's relevant (or at least pretends to be relevant) if it's simply keyword keyword keyword, but they're not likely to find that very appealing.




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