Posted 10 September 2003 - 05:54 PM
For pure SEO, putting the company name at the beginning will lessen the benefit of having an exact keyphrase match in the title (since weightings are assigned by proximity to the start of the tag).
However, for business purposes (I am not an SEO), I believe that having our company name at the front of our title tags has proven to be the right choice. It definitely helps build your branding (name recognition) when people can see your company name in the SERPs whether they click on your link or not. Also, depending upon the keyphrase you are targeting, having the lone listing out of the top 10-20 that is different (ie. doesn't have "keyphrase" as the title) may help sway searchers to check out your site versus the other listings. I also think that how prominently you include your business name makes a statement about your own view of its importance.
Our company site was non-existent in the SERPs up through last year before I discovered SEO. After achieving several top SERPs for a couple of months now, I am starting to find quite a few SE referrals where people were searching for our company name. While I'm sure that our site would achieve a top rank on our company name whether it was included in the title or not, I believe that the branding effect of having it there prominently has contributed to the recognition necessary to drive people to search for it in the first place.
We put our company name first on every page except for our product specific pages, where our product names precede their targeted keyphrase(s).