No more than 40 chars. Just my presonal take, there are better qualified folks here that I'm sure will comment ;)
40 charaters means only 5-6 words!
> 40 charaters means only 5-6 words!
Many here have suggested somewhat more, say 60 or so characters. But yes, the title must be brief and target the most important key phrase. It should be a title, not a mini-essay!
I use between 6 to 8 words and target only 2 maybe 3 keyword phrases.
Think short newspaper headline. Target your keyword, but try to also illicit response from user by eniticing them to click through to learn more. Those type always seem to work best for me.
Keyword1 attacks Tokyo, Keyword2 runs in fear!
The main concern is DO using less words in title, maybe 3 words increase the weight on the keywords when a search is done? ... as compare to a title with the same 3 words + more words.
I think it all depends on what keyword(s) you are going after. All are different, if really are going after one or 2 keywords just use them. But in the same aspect I have a title tag that is 8 words and it is killer. I rank for almost every combination. Every keyword is different.
I set a limit to 65 characters (space included). My reason for doing is that I don't want my titles to get cut off at Google SERP. I'd hate to see my title looking like this -> Something about my compa...
I tend to agree on the concept of targeting 2 to 3 phrases in title.
Before anything else though, title should be concisely descriptive - with focus on value proposition - especially for the commerce sites. Title is a major determinate factor for on-SERP conversion.
Using search term: 'books' as an example...
I'd go for something more like this:
(company name): promotion (ex. Free Shipping on New and Used Books)
in comparison to:
(company name): Used, New, Out-of-Print, etc.
<-- End of my mumble -->
I keep to 68 chars to avoid being truncated by Google ;o)
As mentioned, it is MORE important to make your title sound attractive to potential visitors, there is no point being NO 1 for a keyword if no-one clicks on it.
Just my 2p worth
I tend to develop high level pages with 2 or 3 words and low level pages with 4 or 5 words in the title.
In addition, anchors to high level pages are normal 1 word or a two word keyphrase (consistent with those in the title) where lower level pages (or more focused topics) get longer anchors to match the longer titles.
1. How about CASE? You can make a title more attractive by capitalizing some of the attactive words. DO you do that?
2. Google start cutting my title when I have only 64 characters. Are you sure you can put more in!
Title tags and me...(am I alone?) :-/ [webmasterworld.com] is my take on Title Tag length - with an informative article posted by rjohara: Jakob Nielsen's "Microcontent: How to Write Headlines, Page Titles, and Subject Line"
I dont know, I see results with some long titles (over 10 words) and some titles with 2 or 3 words all the time. But I would say if your page is about "Blue Wigits with Red Upgrade" but you put "Blue Wigits" then your not really efficiently doing it. And don't suff with keywords, its ugly, spammy, and users find it confusing.
Google indexes up to about 80 chars, but the fewer words, the more weight is put on those:
"blue widgets" works better for a search on "blue widgets" than "blue widgets - red widgets"