Creating a Search Engine Friendly Title Tag

So we all have been doing it….cramming as many keywords we have into our title tag using only 70 characters that Google “kindly requests” us to limit our title tags to.  But it seems that things have changed a bit.  Previously Google would only display 70 characters and cut off the SERP title after that.  Now based on an experiment, Google seems to care more about how wide your title is.  Google is more concerned on the measurements of the pixels that your title is regardless of how many characters there are.

Google no longer puts a limit on the number of characters in your SERP title. Rather, it limits the title based on the pixel width.  To sum it up, the old rule of “70 characters or less” is no longer being used.

Read more here: http://www.seomofo.com/experiments/serp/google-snippet-07.html

Google has also been frowning upon long title tags.  The blog by Google Inside Search released a monthly list of algorithmic tweaks for May.  3 of them specifically had to do with how titles are displayed.

  • “Trigger alt title when HTML title is truncated.”   When html titles are truncated, trigger alt title.  Algorithms are designed to provide the best possible title.  When the current title is too long, it gets truncated.
  • “Efficiency improvements in alternative title generation.” Google has improved the efficiency of title generation systems and they have been more focused on a set of titles actually shown in search results.”
  • “Better demotion of boilerplate anchors in alternate title generation.”  When displaying titles in search results, their goal is to avoid anything that does not describe the page.  It eliminates text that is not useful.

When your title tag is too long, Google is simply trying to algorithmically determine a better title for the page instead of truncating it for a better page title.  Having a short title tag that is search engine friendly has increased in importance.  Without this, Google would replace your title with just about anything.  This replacing of title that Google will do may lose you the opportunity to entice uses to click on your page.

Final recommendation: Make sure your title tags have shorter, rich keywords and be conscious of how wide your tags are. 

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