There is no "all inclusive answer" here.
But a multi-prone strategy is better than "all short or all long titles.
Brett's Search Engine Theme Pyramids [searchengineworld.com] encompasses title lengths where top level pages are much more effective using shorter titles and deeper linked pages get much more targeted (higher focus) and longer titles.
It is best to avoid starting a title word after 58 characters as Google parses to 60 - 64 characters only.
I've always kept mine under 70 characters.
One thing that works well is making sure the first three-four words are not only keywords but can be combined into keywords.
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It depends on how competitive your search phrases are, combined with other factors, like (to oversimplify) what your PageRank is, what inbound links you have kicking up certain phrases or words, etc.
|One thing that works well is making sure the first three-four words are not only keywords but can be combined into keywords. |
Definitely good advice... You get much more mileage out of a title this way. The tricky part is when you're going after two competitive phrases, one of which splits the other, as in...
wholesale red widgets
Here you have an exact match on "red widgets," and an approximate match on "wholesale widgets."
Depending on those other factors, though, if you want to rank well on "wholesale widgets," you may need to match the phrase exactly in the title. That means you'll need to drop "red" and to target "red widgets" on another page.
Here's a good thread to check out (it links to some others, too):
Page Title Length & Keywords
What do you think about having titles longer than 70 chars?
Are remaining words just ignored or is this harmfull or useless?
Titles aren't just for search engines. People scan the serps page so your title needs to look like you will have what they want on your site. I'd say always keep it 62 or less. Long spammy titles just don't look very inviting.
I do think there may be something to the shorter titles for index pages. I've tried it and it seems to have helped. Just be sure the title has your top key word or phrase and leve it at that. Get your other key words into the content and titles of sub pages.
|Titles aren't just for search engines. |
I think all too often we tend to forget about the visitor and concentrate solely on acceptable length or keyword frequency.
Title coherency is a very important factor.
My advice is to keep titles under 60 characters.
Two ways to look at this. Either 1) Go for one keyword phrase and just have a few words in the title (in my opinion very dangerous, by targeting only 1 or 2 keyphrases you are setting yourself up for possible immediate failure if you dont rank for them), or 2) 10-15 words in the title, go for 4-5 different phrases as part of the title and raise your chances of getting ranked for at least 1 of them. It works, again and again. Of course if you want just 1 keyword phrase and no more will be good enough and you have the time just go with option 1, if you want something a bit quicker go with option 2. Nite all..