Have I Been Giving Out Bad Advice?
Posted 17 January 2009 - 12:12 PM
But I've just done a test using my contact page: http://www.aerin.co.uk/contact.htm
As you can see the page title is:
How to Contact Aerin.co.uk - and this bit is a test - skriqgy - korziklr - qasdcvgyuh
According to the 60 character 'rule 'Google should index skriqgy but not korziklr or qasdcvgyuh.
But a search shows that all three are in the index. Should I now be advising people that long titles are ok?
Posted 17 January 2009 - 12:22 PM
The sixty character length that you have recommended is what most search engines will display in the SERPs without truncation. All of my title tags follow that format and I spend time constructing them to fit it.
I have not done testing but believe that the longer the title your page is given the less potent it is in ranking for any of the terms included. If qasdcvgyuh had any competition it might not rank as well. Why? If the search engines counted a word that was 127 characters out then every spammer around would be making title tags of enormous length just to get the extra ranking benefit.
I am not going to start writing 90 character title tags.
Posted 17 January 2009 - 01:22 PM
The Google display hard limit for <title> appears from tests to be 66 chars and spaces. The 'extra' six characters only appear if there is a long word that begins prior to the 60 char point and ends on or prior to the 66 char limit. Most <title> displays are <= 60 so that is considered the 'safe' length within which to work.
Before one races out to overload <title> with keywords remember that, again as EGOL mentions, unless it is a rare term it will have little ranking power. You can accomplish much the same by placing your 'unique creation' just about anywhere on the page for a similar result.
Posted 17 January 2009 - 01:26 PM
I wont make my Titles any longer then 60 chars but mainly because its a title in the true sense of the word.
Posted 17 January 2009 - 01:44 PM
This part is fine. Traditionally, across all the different major search engines, across the years, not a one has ever shown a title length lower than 60 characters. Thus a 60 character title is the most likely to always display correctly, helping it look more professional, and thus gain better clcick-through from the SERP.
Based on the good advice given here over many years I been telling everyone to keep their page titles to about 60 characters
Only your reason for the advice was incorrect.
No. In one test I recall, Google picked out a page to rank for a made-up word that was embedded some 600 characters into a title. However, that page didn't rank well for anything but the nonsense words.
anything longer and Google will simply ignore the rest.
What can be recognized, and what is optimal, are different things.
Posted 17 January 2009 - 02:22 PM
I've gone out as far as 2K.
In one test I recall, Google picked out a page to rank for a made-up word that was embedded some 600 characters into a title.
I've never been able to verify the effects of "keyword density" in the title tag; i.e., the more buried your keyword phrase is the less it counts. I've never been able to discount it, though, either, even though I have my doubts.
Posted 17 January 2009 - 02:29 PM
60/66 characters is still the optimum but suppose you operate in a specific geographical area: Basildon, Southend, Brentwood, Billericay and Chelmsford. Using the 60 character rules there won't be any room for anything else. But if you supersize your titles and add the locations on the end then there doesn't seems to be any real penalty. They might not be displayed in the SERPs but do indicate to the SE that they are keywords and as long as they are repeated on the actual page there should be a miniscule advantage over the bloke who doesn't have them in his page titles.
On the other hand of course, if this is so and becomes known to all and sundry then the spammers and blackhats will have a field day - and the page titles will go the way of the keywords metatag.
Damn, I need a beer. Care to join me?
Posted 18 January 2009 - 09:03 AM
Edited by Jem, 18 January 2009 - 09:04 AM.
Posted 20 January 2009 - 10:38 PM
Personally, I ignore titles and tend to look at the meta description, maybe this is because titles are often collections of words that mean nothing to me (except to see my keyword in bold) where as the meta description is the context...
Posted 21 January 2009 - 06:17 AM
Does anyone have an data on title vs meta description in terms of what gets the most attention? Or maybe I mean, causes the user to click?
So should you. You need to be constantly testing and refining to get the optimal results for your own sites, markets, etc.
I carefully test and refine the full appearance of Title and Description for each and every site and client. Each can be very different too. There's no single set of rules, because the mindset of a young executive trying to shortlist options for a B2B purchase order is very different from the mindset of a teenager trying to buy the latest must-have cool gadget and different again to the mindset of a retired man looking for information on the proper care for a particular rosebush variety for his prized garden...
Test, Test and Refine. On a keyword by keyword basis if the difference between those using one keyword to those using another is a difference in mindset or thought process.
Posted 27 January 2009 - 11:31 AM
From the 'Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide!' download on this page
Use brief, but descriptive titles -Titles can be both short and informative. If the title is too
long, Google will show only a portion of it in the search result.
• using extremely lengthy titles that are unhelpful to users
• stuffing unneeded keywords in your title tags
Posted 28 January 2009 - 05:12 AM
A google search for 'korziklr' has 3 results so far. The top to are this thread and the third is my test page.
The word 'korziklr' only appears in the page title and is past position 60/66.
It appears therefore that google has indexed the title but because it's off to the right has little impact on my ranking. There are some more pages with the word in various guises that should be in the index soon. If my theory holds true then the test page should drop further down the SERPs.
Posted 28 January 2009 - 05:47 AM
Based on the good advice given here over many years I been telling everyone to keep their page titles to about 60 characters - anything longer and Google will simply ignore the rest.
On the good advice of Ron and he repeated his claim for his test (including his post above) in quite a number of his posts, you can have titles as long as you want and as per my tests descriptions as long as you want. However, with very little benefit.
Korziklr (which I can definitely tell you it means Corsican black hat SEO in the Armenian language ) would rank very well as there is no competition, even if it was at the footer in tiny letters, that is until this post came along and my guess after 3-4 days Crea8asite will rank over it!
The best advice that one can give on titles (besides what BK and the others noted above) is to make them as catchy as possible. Here a book or two from the advertising world can come handy (such as those written donkey years back by David Ogilvy). Ogilvy had a very similar problem with ads in newspapers (how do you catch the eye of someone with a tiny ad in classifieds?) His conclusion was some words are 'catchy' and others are not. Among the words he had (from memory) NEW, FREE, NAKED, NOW and so on... and in the words of another advertising guy, this time Leo Burnett:
Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.
Another important consideration IMHO is to title the html page as well with a similar if not exactly the same title for the users benefit in <h2> or <h1> tag and ...this is another story. There is nothing worse visiting a page and finding out that the title had nothing to do with the content.
Edited by yannis, 28 January 2009 - 05:48 AM.
Posted 28 January 2009 - 06:29 AM
The question though is not about the length but the ranking effects of keywords that appear beyond the 60 character limit.
As my test already shows. This thread ranks higher than my page with the word in the title.
Maybe not the most exciting or comprehensive test but as more korziklr pages get indexed some pattern will hopefully emerge.
Apparently I'm doing well in google.corsica. Trouble is there's a contact out on me by the men-in-black-hats.
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