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What Titles Are Good in Google?
Repetition? Phrases?
silverbytes




msg:52712
 4:07 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I noticed that old titles repeating keywords are not working well with google in those days.

Is there a known fact about it?
should your title avoid to repeat a keyword even if it makes sense?

In the other hand Yahoo seems to accept them still and very well....

Experiences about it?

 

troels nybo nielsen




msg:52713
 4:15 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have a website:

"Keyword1 word keyword2, keyword2 word keyword1"

Works fine. Always did.

BigDave




msg:52714
 4:22 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Here is a novel concept. use the title like it is intended. A terse description of what the page is about.

adfree




msg:52715
 4:28 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

...plus one keyword or two, preferrably the ones that have a large demand and low supply on the web ;-)

Also: do not use the full title text for link anchor text. Google doesn't like that.

Kirby




msg:52716
 4:43 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Also: do not use the full title text for link anchor text. Google doesn't like that.

I've been doing that for years and have stayed #1 or #2. Its relevant to my on page content and is the obvious anchor text.

ogletree




msg:52717
 4:46 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would have to agree with Kirby. I have been doing it for some time. I rank quite well.

silverbytes




msg:52718
 3:46 pm on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I used to have #1 too. but it's gone... so I'm changing the titles strategy...

And you titles does contain the keyword just once or repeated?

MHes




msg:52719
 3:57 pm on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Here is a novel concept. use the title like it is intended. A terse description of what the page is about."

Novel but often poor seo. Its like doing content for people rather than spiders, lets be honest, it doesn't work as well as doing titles or content for spiders, and then making sure it works for people as well.

BigDave




msg:52720
 4:50 pm on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Novel but often poor seo. Its like doing content for people rather than spiders, lets be honest, it doesn't work as well as doing titles or content for spiders, and then making sure it works for people as well.

I would have to totally disagree.

"Poor SEO" is when you have to do lame things like keyword stuffing your title to have any hope of ranking.

"Good SEO" is when the user thinks it is incredibly well done AND it ranks at the top in the SEs.

While a stuffed title might help you rank towards the top of the SERPs, a well written title will certainly go a long way towards getting people to click on your link.

Just think about the links in a SERP that you are most likely to click on.

"Widgettown Hotels Widget Town Motels Lodging Discount List"

or

"Finding lodging in and around Widgettown"

So if you get to the top with a proper title, is that not better than doing it with one that doesn't have any appeal to the user?

troels nybo nielsen




msg:52721
 5:02 pm on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm a title freak and have been for more than 30 years. I regard the title mentioned in post #2 as one of the best of my own 1000+ page titles. But it was pure luck that search engines seem to like it too. It was created at a time when I knew virtually nothing about search engines. And even if Google were to decide that this is keyword spamming I would not change it.

I am willing to tweak my more banal titles if I feel that they give me a handicap in search engines. But not the good ones. My titles are created for human readers.

<added>
And I have a strong feeling that Google are consciously trying to make their algo interpret titles more and more the way that humans do. They simply have to.
</added>

MHes




msg:52722
 5:46 pm on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Good SEO" is when the user thinks it is incredibly well done AND it ranks at the top in the SEs."

I agree, but concious effort has to be put into it. Relying on a terse description may not often work. Interestingly I think webmasters who have been knocking around for a few years doing SEO think, eat and breathe keyword phrases. Ask a SEO newbie to put a descriptive title on the page and we would all be amazed at what they might come up with. Ask an old timer and sub contiously they will hit on a keyword phrase/seo influenced title, when they think they are doing a normal descriptive title.

I work in the Jobs sector. A terse description for a page about London Jobs would be "London Jobs", but as mentioned above, it would match anchor text elsewhere and thus may not be a good idea. This is an example where you have to think 'spider' first, then user. A non seo person may come up with the title 'Jobs Page" and they will not be doing themselves many favours. The one that does well and is good for the user is "Jobs in London - Employment agency"

You have to think both spider and user.

Bobby




msg:52723
 10:56 pm on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

You have to think both spider and user.

Right on MHes! Right on!

Big Dave, you have a good point with thinking about what the user is most likely to click on while scanning titles on SERPs.

Although many of you may disagree with me here and it may not be best in terms of pure rankings, my feeling is that the company name should be established right from the beginning as it conveys a professional attitude and approach to the net.

Provided the company name is not so long that it takes up prime real estate in the title I think it's important in terms of branding and recognition.

The question for me becomes how important is the first word of the title, the last word, and the words in between.

It's also good to keep in mind that keywords in the title tag may well be weighted in terms of density. So a title like: Headhunters - Job opportunities in London would have a 25% kw density for 2 very important keywords Job and London, rather than having more keywords with less value because you've diluted the title with too many.

IITian




msg:52724
 11:37 pm on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

>It's also good to keep in mind that keywords in the title tag may well be weighted in terms of density.

Most titles that repeat keywords, it appears to me, are going for the windfall of exact match - apparently rewarded by Google.

A title like "kw1 kw2" is best optimized for the query "kw1 kw2" but might not do well on "kw2 kw1" queries. On the other hand, "kw1 kw2 kw1" might do equally well with both, with little, if any, loss in performance for the "kw1 kw2" query.

BigDave




msg:52725
 12:18 am on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Although many of you may disagree with me here and it may not be best in terms of pure rankings, my feeling is that the company name should be established right from the beginning as it conveys a professional attitude and approach to the net.

I'm not about to disagree with you. I think think you would have to be a fool to do it any other way for any sort of business site.

Personally, I think that site branding like that is very unlikely to hurt your rankings, and there is a good possiblity that they would help.

Go to Google, amazon, microsoft, adobe, etc. They all brand their title.

There are plenty of great pages out there that do well that are not branded, but they certainly are not going to rank you any lower for branding.

And once again, branding can play a large role in click throughs from Google. If you get indented results, yet totally different titles, you will not have as much attraction to the user's eye as if both titles start out the same way.

trimmer80




msg:52726
 4:04 am on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would not be suprised if google favored branding.

If i do a search for widgets and get these results

1. widget, blue widgets, green widgets
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2. widget, blue widgets from Widgets-R-Us
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am much more likely to click the second link as the first yells SPAM to me.

It is possible that Google might also think the same.

europeforvisitors




msg:52727
 5:06 am on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

A title needs to do three things:

1) Let the search crawler know what's about.

2) Attract a click from the reader who sees the title on a SERP.

3) Establish a brand identity that the reader will recognize and respond to if he's searching on a similar topic a day, a week, or a month from now.

Even if a keyword-stuffed title like "Pink fuzzy widgets widgeting widgeters widget" is effective with search crawlers (an assumption that's questionable), it's likely to turn off readers or get lost in the spam clutter if it's surrounded by more inviting titles in Google's search results.

The approach I like is "Poppy Seed Bagels - Bud's Bagel Shop" or "Beagle Puppies - Hank's House of Hounds." It works for Google and, just as important, it's inviting to the reader while helping to establish name recognition.

GoogleGuy




msg:52728
 6:04 am on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Better answers on this thread than I could have given. :) Not just Google-specific, either.

MHes




msg:52729
 9:25 am on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Branding vs Spammy titles.

Anybody got any real evidence that branding works on google serps?

It seems to me that the title is all about search engines. The branding kicks in when people visit a page, find it useful and then take note of the brand.

If the important bit for branding is to get the visitor to click the google results first, then do we really know if a user clicks because the site listed has a branding element in the title, or do they click keyword titles anyway?

If someone is searching on google, then surely they are not thinking "brand" they are just searching for sites. GOOGLE is the brand and they are trusting google to display good results. Thus if a site appears well on google, even with a spammy title, they will assume it is good quality and relevant.

Monkscuba




msg:52730
 9:53 am on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

"GOOGLE is the brand and they are trusting google to display good results. Thus if a site appears well on google, even with a spammy title, they will assume it is good quality and relevant."

Scary thought. There must have been some research done on this somewhere. I mean research in a controlled way, scientific study using volunteers to study what titles attract clicks. If not, there darn well should be. Do people really just blindly click a result because it comes up in the search. Do we trust Google that much?

TheWhippinpost




msg:52731
 10:41 am on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Relying on a brand is all well and good if you have one. For those establishing one however, it's a different ball-game.

I don't believe keyword-stuffing the title works (as) well anymore - A title should reflect what's on the page and the page should be validating, or qualifying, the title.

I see pages ranking well where there's no keyword in the title at all... but there are related keywords, EG... instead of "tutorial" there is "help", "guide" etc...

tenerifejim




msg:52732
 12:54 pm on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've had a bit of a thought about this recently. My website name and company branding is literally 'location hotels'. I've always had title for the home page starting 'location hotels' followed by something like '- book hotels in location'. But I have worried about keyword stuffing.

Does anyone think I am penalised for this? It is a genuine concern that a descriptive title could cost me.

europeforvisitors




msg:52733
 12:56 pm on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

If the important bit for branding is to get the visitor to click the google results first, then do we really know if a user clicks because the site listed has a branding element in the title, or do they click keyword titles anyway?

No one really knows, but branding works in the real world, so why not in the world of SERPs?

Let's say I want to buy a CanoeBuddy canoe paddle. I search on "CanoeBuddy canoe paddles" and get a list of 10 search results. Nine are keyword-stuffed titles on affiliate pages, and the tenth reads "CanoeBuddy Canoe Paddles - REI." Don't you think I'm likely to at least click on that page with "REI" in the title?

Now, you may argue that REI is a well-established brand name and that branding isn't of value to mom-and-pop sites. I disagree, because, for many topics, a SERP isn't like the front section of your daily newspaper--it's more like a page from a special-interest magazine where niche brands (brands that the average person has never heard of) can have strong identities.

Years ago, when I was an amateur radio operator, I came to know the name of practically every mail-order vendor that advertised in ham magazines like QST and 73. I still remember visiting a vendor's brick-and-mortar store on a trip to Kansas City and being surprised by how small it was. It was a perfect example of a small business that had managed to build a huge brand identity in its niche.

If someone is searching on google, then surely they are not thinking "brand" they are just searching for sites. GOOGLE is the brand and they are trusting google to display good results. Thus if a site appears well on google, even with a spammy title, they will assume it is good quality and relevant.

I think people know that search results aren't perfect. If they don't, it becomes obvious the first time they search on a phrase in a cluttered or spam-ridden category.

IMHO, too many Webmaster World members get wrapped up in technical details ("how many keywords can I get away with stuffing into a title?") instead of thinking about the bigger picture. A title isn't just a group of keywords for a search crawler; it's also a hook to catch the user's attention on the SERP and an opportunity to build name recognition at no cost.

ken_b




msg:52734
 2:23 pm on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

It might be worth mentioning here that titles may best serve your site if they don't over-sell, or under-sell, the page or site.

Over-sell the page or site and you could loose the chance to create a repeat visitor.

Under-sell the page or site and you never get that first visit.

BigDave




msg:52735
 3:42 pm on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

It seems to me that the title is all about search engines.

1. used by search engines for indexing.
2. displayed in the top of the window.
3. displayed in the tab of tabbed browsers.
4. displayed as the default in favorites/bookmarks.
5. displayed as the link text in search engines.
6. displayed in your taskbar.

That is just too many important places to think of it as being only for search engines.

The branding kicks in when people visit a page, find it useful and then take note of the brand.

No it even kicks in before that. It makes a difference when someone considers it to be a professionally done title. It becomes even more important when someone is familiar with your brand, and then sees it in the SERPs and goes "Oh yeah, I've heard of them."

By the way, if you don't have one already, I highly recommend using favicons to help with branding. It really helps your site stand out in favorites, and even more so on tabbed browsers.

It is all about the user, and standing out so that they can notice it. Getting high ranking in a search engine is still all about the user.

The user comes first. Always.

MHes




msg:52736
 5:06 pm on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

BigDave - Great points as always.

So branding in the title is important IF your site is sufficiently ranking to have the branding noticed.

The big question is, will having branding in the title lower your chances of good ranking, say in the top 20 of a competitive search?

The keyword density and 'match' of the search phrase has to be considered. It seems to me that one month an exact match with no other words works well, then next month a search phrase match plus another word or two works well. The next month only a part match works.

Its almost as if Google ranks titles with branding high up now and again, then lets the non branding titles have a go!

The big picture dictates that you chase branding, both for recognition in the serps plus future direct traffic. But I suppose the smart branding is the 'seo brandname'. This will allow you to get broadmatch words into the title along with your target phrase, plus brand recognition.

Going back to a London jobs example, if you create your brand as 'City Recruitment' (made up name) you could have the title 'Jobs in London with City Recruitment' You thus may be benefiting from broadmatch + other search phrases + branding.

Spiders first, user second.

europeforvisitors




msg:52737
 7:59 pm on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Going back to a London jobs example, if you create your brand as 'City Recruitment' (made up name) you could have the title 'Jobs in London with City Recruitment' You thus may be benefiting from broadmatch + other search phrases + branding.

Exactly. I've used a similar approach most of the time (my usual format is "Keyphrase - Sitename"), and it's worked quite well even for some highly competitive phrases.

mfishy




msg:52738
 11:08 pm on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

hmm...have BigDave and GoogleGuy ever been seen at the same place together? :)

Let me answer every question ever asked in forum 3 this way. "Make sites for users not search engines. Write great original content and Google will naturally reward you"

Seriously folks. Put your freakin keywords in your title. If not for Google, for the other 50% of web search traffic. It is an obvious factor in scoring for the SE's and having the keyword in the title increases clicks anyway (for the 5%) of users who don't just blindly click anything at the top.

steveb




msg:52739
 11:27 pm on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Cluttering up titles with useless trash is anti-user noise.

Pages are pages, and not coincidentally search engines rank pages. If your page is about red widgets, title it Red widgets. And again not coincidentally, if you want to be found for red widgets, title the thing "Red Widgets". If it further emphasizes something make it "Red Widgets - History of Red Widgets in Newark" or whatever.

Use your title to accurately reflect the content of the page. It's called "title". It's not there to advertise your business or domain.

trimmer80




msg:52740
 12:04 am on Apr 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Going back to a London jobs example, if you create your brand as 'City Recruitment' (made up name) you could have the title 'Jobs in London with City Recruitment' You thus may be benefiting from broadmatch + other search phrases + branding.

As long as you as sure that you can compete with your brand name as the keyword in the SERPs. i.e. if you put 'City Recruitment' into google, does your site show.

I hate trying to remember a site, putting the name / brand of the site into google and getting nothing after looking through 5 pages of results.

Also if you have people that want to return to your site, and they put in your brand name, do you want them presented with a list of your competitors, whether they be above or below your ranking.

I think using a unique brand name can help users remember it. The proven brand names have this in common.

BigDave




msg:52741
 12:48 am on Apr 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

hmm...have BigDave and GoogleGuy ever been seen at the same place together?

Nope, unless he's been to Nicolino's at lunch time during one of my trips down there. But if he ever comes up to Washington, he has a standing dinner invitation. Then my girlfriend would be able to vouch for the fact that we aren't the same person.

Seriously folks. Put your freakin keywords in your title. If not for Google, for the other 50% of web search traffic.

Ain't no one saying not to put your key[word¦phrase] into your title. The original question was about repeating keyowrds.

Since your page is theoretically about your keyowrd, then it is obvious that you should include it. The problem is when the title is treated like meta keywords used to be.

You guys must really have a low opinion of your users the way that you talk about them. Of course, that might be accurate if you only get the users that would click on a link "widget widgets widgeting widgetmania widgetorama"

I on the other hand have very intelligent, and yes, I would even go so far as to call them literate, users.

This 57 message thread spans 2 pages: 57 ( [1] 2 > >
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