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This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >     
Google's word count for the <title> tag?
Does "Google" have a guideline...

 3:13 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Are there any guidelines "from Google" on how many words can be in the <title> </title> tag.

Some pages can be explained with short titles like "Big Red Apples" while others may have every variety of apple on the page and be approprate for the <title> tag to be much more wordy.

So, does "Google" have a set would count one should not exceed?




 3:23 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)


Actually, I don't know. Anyone else?


 3:37 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't know the maximum amount of words, but I do know that you shouldn't repeat one word, even partially, more then 4 times. I think that's how my website got banned :/


 3:39 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Actually I'm not banned, but my title tag doen't appear in my link text in the search, so I only show up when I type in my domain name...and my PR is 0. So it's just as bad as getting banned, really


 3:43 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

That sounds like a ban.

GG's 42 probably refers to "characters" and not "words".


 3:46 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

My best estimate is about 12 words.... but it may actually have more to do with the number of characters before additional words are ignored.

Google doesn't publish this information... you will have to reverse engineer it by looking for high PageRank pages with long titles, then searching for words or phrases found near the end of the title to see if the page appears in the results. This method isn't perfect (as the results also depend on other on-page factors)... but let us know what you find.

Long titles probably dilute the value of any given word or phrase... so it isn't necessarily smart to optimize for too many words anyhow.


 4:05 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Div, 42 is a dry reference to "The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything" and should not be taken umm...seriously, I hope...


 4:26 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

That's right; don't take me seriously on the 42. :)


 4:29 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't think there is any "concrete" evidence, but I found this thread [webmasterworld.com] from last year.

Personally, I rarely go past 50 characters or 10 words.

<sidenote> GoogleGuy is a Douglas Adams fan.. what a surprise.. ;) </sidenote>

- Chad


 4:38 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Geez, and I thought we might have finally found out what the ultimate question was :(

Visit Thailand

 5:28 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I used to try and add a couple of extra keywords but now I have started being as direct and short as possible. Have also noticed that in highly competitive areas most of the top SERPS are also pretty concise.


 5:42 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I had assumed that Google ignores everything beyond what it shows on the SERPs. I checked one page listed for my site, and Google cut of after 62 characters. Thus, either 62 or a few characters more. Google may index more than this; I dunno. However, I presume the more words in the title, the more the value of each is diluted. Thus, unless youve absolutely gotta I'd say stay to 62 characters.


 5:45 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google serps only show about 60 characters. I doubt there is any big advantage in making the title longer. Just make it long enough to make it clear what the page is about and include the most important key word or phrase.

I remember getting advice (not from this forum) to include every key word you could think of. It made for a really spammy looking title. I've been advised here to just concentrate on one word or phrase per page.

Good titles really do help in serp placement but long titles don't as far as I can see.


 6:39 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Both NCSA and W3 Style guides state that the titles should be less than 64 characters. Which also happens to be a good number for a database column width.

The next step up would be 128, which is excessive and even browsers might not display it.



Mods: Hope these links are not in violation of TOS. Apologies in advance if they are.


 7:54 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't know about the character limit but if you notice it generally displays 9 words or 10 at max, beyond that it's dots .... and having a more precise title is better i think. I follow 9/10 words limit in <title>


 8:39 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Looks to me shrirch Google is doing things by those guidelines. Makes sense. Google should want to encourage following web standards.

Total Paranoia

 8:39 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I usually include 50 - 62 characters in my titles and start them off with the main keyword then build a secondary keyword in to the rest of the title. This may dilute the main keyword but it also gives me a stab at a second keyword. I also get some good combination hits this way.


 8:57 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

there is no maximum word number, but a truncation after 127 characters.

look there [webmasterworld.com]

added: in msg #:7 [webmasterworld.com] you will find a description, how to test it.

[edited by: h_b_k at 9:03 am (utc) on May 23, 2003]


 9:00 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

That was written in 2000. Can anyone confirm this is still true?


 9:05 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

sorry, I had problems to find the thread from Dec 2002.
look to my addition above.


 9:37 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

As GG said the correct answer is in fact 42!

42 is the correct answer because if you multiply 9 x 7 that is the result achieved (as calculated by mice).

Anyone here disputing this fact should not PANIC! (in large letters). Google is totally based upon improbability theory.

To determine SERP's for any given search term you must simply calculate the probability that it should NOT be.

While placing one of your extremities in a hot cup of coffee you should multiply your best current position page number by 42. Do that and you will determine the ranked position of your favorite keyphrase on any given day that the Earth is about to be destroyed by Vogon constructor ships.

If you are not up to these complex mathematical calculations we suggest you eat several bags of peanuts, place a towel around your head and remove all pocket lint from your attire! Will this help....heck no, but peanuts always taste better when eaten in the dark!

The probability of Google fixing its current problems is currently 1 to the power of 31415926535 and falling!


 9:44 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

It should be less than 66 characters.....


 10:15 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I figure it to be 63 characters (including spaces). Anything beyond that is truncated.


 11:04 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)


And what about the length of the description and keyword Tag, what should this be?

Any penalties for longer Tags?


Visit Thailand

 11:10 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sanuk, I do not believe there is any penalty for longer use of keyword and description tags. However I tend to keep the description shorter and try and ensure at least 60% of words in the keywords appears on the page.


 11:12 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

My maths is poor still i think 1 to the power of 31415926535 = 1 :)


 12:29 pm on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not when calculated by mice!

Good post percentages. We need the humor today.


 12:32 pm on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have always used between 6 and 8 words, any more and you are killing your keyword weight and density.


 12:34 pm on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

that's true, if you have one or two keywords.

but in my field I have to deal with a lot of synonym words.


 2:03 pm on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)


GG suggested 'the meaning of life, the universe and everything'

But the general consensus is about 7 words.

With an average word length of around 6 characters, that comes to - about 42!

This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >
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