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repeated words in page title
Is this too many stars?

 5:54 am on Oct 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

I just built a new page with an article about star quilts. I want the page title to reflect what is there but when I wrote it the title came out:

"star of bethlehem, morning star, mathematical star, star of the east and lone star quilts, stars in Native American quilting"

My concern is if I repeated the word star too many times and the page will be rejected because of that. But if I leave it out the names of the star quilts don't make much sense.

Also I was told once to write my titles in lower case. Is there really any need for this? I'd rather do caps for the look of it.

Thanks for any feedback. This is an area that I've been unsure about for some time.




 6:22 am on Oct 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Way too long. Shorten to under 80 chars. Only the first 60 are really relevant with Google. Repeating kws in titles is risky. You can offset the effect with just a few more inbound links.

Just put in a normal title - lowercase doesn't matter - just don't capitalize all the words - that will get filtered and the page dumped.


 6:34 am on Oct 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Agree with Brett.

In addition, there is limited benefit in using multiple keyphrases in title, unless the competitiveness of the keyphrases is low.

It is much better to use a single keyphrase per page title


page 1 - star of bethlehem

page 2 - morning star

page 3 - mathematical star, and so on

adjoining keyphrases in the title will make you more relevant to:

star of bethlehem the morning star << if typed in by a user, but this will also make the title less relevant to >> star of bethlehem << or >> morning star << if typed by other users, and ranking will be less efective.


 7:11 am on Oct 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks to both of you. Having an idea of how long the title should be is helpful. How is "Star quilts of radiating diamonds in early America and Native American quilting"?

It doesn't have the specific names of the quilts but those will be in the description of the article and in the article text. They are not very competitive terms, I just want people to be able to find them if they are specificially looking for them.

Are words like quilts and quilt and quilting seen as the same word by Google? I'm not sure if I need to avoid putting them together in a title.



 7:43 am on Oct 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

"Star quilts of radiating diamonds in early America and Native American quilting"?

I would tend to believe that the suggested title would be better suited as a page description.

Bearing in mind that I know little about quilting and also failed amercian history (once):

You may want to target these on two or more pages

"Star quilts of early America"

"Native Amercian quilting"

"quilts Native American"

assuming that "radiating diamonds" is a less commonly used term.

Should you only have content to complete "1 page"

...and sales is your target I would lean to "quilts" vice "quilting"

... services, knowledge building or information, I would lean to "quilting" vice "quilts"

The reasoning for this... you can not be all things to all people (on one page) and by doing so you limit capturing both potential online markets.

A rule of thumb for titles:

Avoid using conjunctions ( and, but, or etc.) severely limted competitiveness

keywords - nouns are best

keyphrases - noun and a verb, verbs are better than adverbs

double noun are as effective

three, four and five word phrases produce less traffic potential but higher degree of targeting (more focused audiences and less competitiveness)


 8:09 am on Oct 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'd have to figure that Google will count a keyword only once in the title. No logic in giving the webmaster who tiles is page "widgets widgets widgets widgets widgets widgets" a boost. A quick check does show Google ignores beyond the first 60 or 65 characters in the title. If this is the only page on the site relevant to these keywords, then shove as many in the title if possible. If not, then multiple pages with shorter, more target keywords makes sense.


 8:26 am on Oct 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

My article pages are more to attract people who are curious about quilt history so I don’t have to directly address my product which is primarily quilt history books. In other words they come for the content then get interested in buying books. So my phrases in my titles need to be focused on what the searcher wants to learn rather than the product.

I know that most of the titles to my articles do not make good page titles. For example I have another article titled, “When Rugs Weren't for Floors” while I titled the page “Colonial American bedrugs, blankets and coverlets”. Is that on the right track?

I’ve also been trying to get the most important key words in so the article titled, “Broderie Perse: The Art of Chintz Appliqué” has the page title of “broderie perse quilts, chintz appliqué quilting, quilt history”. There is an example of how I’ve tried to get quilts, quilt and quilting in as they all seem to be used interchangeably as keywords by searchers.

If I can get this title thing sorted out in my mind I plan to go through my sites and improve all the titles.

Thanks again.



 12:22 pm on Oct 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

> If I can get this title thing sorted out in my mind I plan to go through my sites and improve all the titles.


When I started off my site I used flowery prose in both the H1 headers and the titles. One of the first things I learned was that the title is the most valuable piece of real estate on the page (from the search engine's point of view), followed by the H1 header. Rewriting all the titles and headers led to the first big boost in my rankings.

The H1 header is there in large font at the top of the page, it absolutely has to be gramatically correct and totally appropriate.

The title is a bit less obvious while browsing, though it is the first thing that shows up in the search engine results. I will allow myself an occasional gramatic lapse to put the particular form of the keyword I want in it, but it must be a valid phrase.

Some of my pages are rather long, and we believe that Google gives less weight to terms that it first encounters low down in the page. So on a long page I put a Contents section near the top with as many of the secondary keywords as I can.

Hope that some of this helps!


 6:29 pm on Oct 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Is the H1 header really important? I often use a graphic instead or another way of enlarging the print like font size with the font tag.

Geez, there is so much to consider on this.



 9:44 pm on Oct 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

I should have written that I believe that the H1 tag is the most important piece of real estate on your page after the TITLE. Not sure exactly where I got that idea, but look at this thread: [webmasterworld.com...] especially the posts by heini (#6 in thread), tedster (#12 in thread) and netcommr (#30 and #34 in thread).

WebmasterWorld does not have any tutorials, and it is alas often not very easy to get the real meat out of a thread that covers many issues as this one does.

Also please note that I am emphatically not saying that you must have headers. They fit in very well with my style of writing, they may be unsuitable for yours. You are designing your site primarily for humans, not for search engine spiders!


 10:28 pm on Oct 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

annej, in the page header between <header> </header> is the title element...

e.g. <title>your title here</title> this is what I have been refering to in previous posts.

<h1>title in the visible content to reader</h1> H Tags are fine, but they are not used in the page header.

Your When Rugs Weren't for Floors is good for reader content between H tags and Colonial American bedrugs, blankets and coverlets is good for the title element (this also appears visible in the browser window, very top left).

Noting: your title of this thread is also the title element and appears top left of your browsers window.

You may however want to use your Title element Colonial American bedrugs, blankets and coverlets also as the article title (using H1 tags and make When Rugs Weren't for Floors as a sub title to the article using h2 or h3 tags, so that more weight (and relevancy) is added to the page (bringing in many more visitors).


 2:13 am on Nov 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

If the relevant keywords appear at the top of the page that is likly what google will use as a description.

The title you started with would not be visible either in google or as the title on IE. but if you used a short relevant title and then begain your page with more information containing those keywords. You could achive close to what you may be looking for. the title will be the link follow by a two line description.

Maybe make the title be "stars in Native American quilting" and at the top of the page put what your origonal thought for the title.

-------------- added

I think <h1> tags would be too big but for added weight make the text on top bigger than any other text, maybe center it ATW likes that, and distance it from and text that follows with a few <BR> or something so the search engines can see it is somehow special.


 7:04 am on Nov 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think <h1> tags would be too big

Not at all. The use of "on-page Cascading Styles Sheets (CSS) or using an external CSS is not just a common practice, it is a preferred method of professional designers and SEO as well as a standard laid out by W3C.org.

The style sheet allow you to pre-define font size color margins font weight and font family. Font family is very useful since not all computer have the same font, so if they don't have one, their browser will use the next.

You can argue the "system fonts" are best for the web but rather bland for attempting to make your site unique, interesting and motivating.

Personally I use external CSS to keep the page code down to a minimum:

add this statement to your header

<link rel="stylesheet" href="quilts.css" type="text/css">

In notepad (or another text editor copy (example only, good to experiment first:

H1 {
COLOR: #000000; FONT-FAMILY: verdana, arial, helvetica, san-serif; FONT-SIZE: 16px; FONT-WEIGHT: 800

H2 {
COLOR: #000000; FONT-FAMILY: verdena, arial, helvetica, san-serif; FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-WEIGHT: 800; MARGIN-LEFT: 6px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 6px
H3 {
COLOR: #000000; FONT-FAMILY: verdana, arial, helvetica, san-serif; FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-WEIGHT: normal; MARGIN-LEFT: 6px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 6px
.text {
COLOR: #000000; FONT-FAMILY: verdana, arial, helvetica, san-serif; FONT-SIZE: 10px; FONT-WEIGHT: normal; MARGIN-LEFT: 6px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 6px

save text file as quilts, open html editor or FTP software and change txt extention to css, your CSS is created.

On web pages change <font>tags</font> to <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, for various titles and text paragraphs <font></font> to <text>

You can define CSS tags to whatever you wish using (period) and then word as in .word and/or alpha-numeric 2 character designators.

In the page tag itself you can also define alignment parameters (e.g. <text align="justify">text place </text>


 7:55 am on Nov 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>just don't capitalize all the words

You can capitalize the first letter of every word. Proper titles should be written this way. Don't capitalize every letter of every word or words like "the" and "to", which shouldn't be in web page titles anyway. :) I haven't seen ANY filters in place on ANY engine that penalizes a page for having a proper title.

Titles should be focused though. Use the title to focus the content of the page and don't be afraid to create more pages to make use of those perfect titles you create.

Proper capitalization of a title isn't a problem. I'm pretty sure Brett meant not to capitalize every letter in every word. That's the equivalent of SCREAMING at your surfers and it looks bad. Titles that use all lower case letters after the first word look bad too, except in the case of articles and conjunctions.

A Beautiful Mind
Beauty and the Beast
A Tale of Two Cities

The title is going to show up in the SERPs, make sure you give them something they want to click on, usually, what they were searching for. ;) You can make a page rank well with a bad title, but the page won't convert well and it is too much work to get it to rank. For titles, short and sweet is better than long and descriptive.


 6:39 pm on Nov 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Just put in a normal title - lowercase doesn't matter - just don't capitalize all the words - that will get filtered and the page dumped. <<

Brett did you mean to not capitalize all the letters in each word? I can see how that would look bad.



 7:05 pm on Nov 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Not that I would presume to answer for Brett, but I would personally say that it is likely what he meant.

Remember that your title is the first thing that a searcher will see when looking at the search engine results. It should be brief, informative and professional. That means it should contain proper grammar and should be properly capitalized.

A common way that spammers entice folks to look at their title is to put it in ALL CAPS...you know, the whole "yelling in type" thing, thus, a good practice to avoid.

The other suggestions made here are excellent. I like to keep title tags short and sweet...3-6 words or so. I also use CSS on every single site to control the appearance of the <hx> tags as well as to cut down on the download size of the page. (All those font=blah tags can start to add up...)


 8:44 pm on Nov 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Using CSS works well to create a nice matching layout. But I think most of the search engines have already made enough adjustments so that H1 tags don't carry the weight they once did. If SEs increase the importance of text size again i think they will likly do a better job at determining the actual size, however it may be easier for them to use off page content. Just what I think, I have been been wrong before. I don't see any harm in using h1 tags with css, i just don't bother.

But I do make the text uniquely stand out and take pains to make it clear to SEs that these words are special and the bases of the page, and nothing in my sleaves, no tricks, what they see is what i got.


 9:12 pm on Nov 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Anyone know if the position of the keyword in the title makes much difference to the search engine results? My site just dropped from 11 to 13 for my single-keyword search term, despite the fact that our links went from 560 to 720, which is more than all but three of the sites above me. It's bugging me!

I've noticed that most of the sites that rank above mine (and that have fewer links) have the keyword at the start of the title. I've just emulated them to see what difference, if any, it makes.


 9:18 pm on Nov 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Keyword position counts. You'll notice this more for for search phrases that aren't an exact match for the title. PR adds more oomph and can lessen the impact of exact phrase matching.


 9:33 pm on Nov 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Wow! I am learning so much in this thread.

Here is what I am thinking I need to do:

1 - I need to make my page titles in the heading shorter and too the point and including the main keywords. I also need to make them look like a proper title with most words having the first letter capitalized.

2 - I need to make put my article title in h1 tags as in h tags may be noticed first by Google or other search engines. I am also going to put a more descriptive sub title under the main title in h3 tags.

Am I on the right track?

Thanks everyone.

Anne, who is finding it feels a lot better to be working on improving my sites than looking at the Google dance ever few minutes. ;)


 9:35 pm on Nov 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

annej -- PERFECT!

Sorry I shouted -- perfect! :) ;)


 10:55 pm on Nov 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

fathom, You can yell "perfect" anytime!

I do have one more question. Maybe I am being too fussy but I like the look of having my main article title with a H2 rather than a H1 tag . H1 is just too big and dominant. Does it really matter as long as it is a H tag?



 10:59 pm on Nov 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

You can use the h2 tag, or use CSS to make the headers appear any way you like them to appear.

I prefer h1 tags for the main heading, and h2 tags for sub-headings. All the header tags is doing is telling the users, and the engines, that important information can be found there.


 4:43 am on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

agree with digitalghost. h1 for title and h2 for sub title is best.

msg #:13 show how you can use an external style sheet to control size.

If the size of "that" h1 tag is too big, reduce the number from FONT-SIZE: 16px to 14 or something else.


 5:05 am on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hey, great <hx> tip!

How do you prevent that line space beneath the header using CSS?



 9:05 am on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

I would suggest it helps to follow what Google likes in their Adwords rules.

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