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|Writing Better SEO Page Titles For SERPs |
We all know how to write great page titles, don't we? :)
If you're learning, as I do every day, you might want to read this Google piece on titles. [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]
I don't think it tells us a great deal we didn't already know, but, it does remind us to take care of your titles.
I have seen situations where Google has changed page titles. It seemed at the time (it's been a while since I looked at this in detail) that they were doing so because even though the page ranked for the search phrase, the title did not contain the keywords contained in the search phrase. So they constructed a title that did contain all keywords from the search phrase. I want to say this seemed to be based primarily on the link text used by other sites to link to the page which did actually contain all of the keywords from the user's search phrase.
At the time, it seemed consistent with the way Google will construct a snippet when the meta description for the page does not contain all of the keywords from the user's search phrase. We know how important it is in their view to be able to highlight EVERY keyword from the search phrase in both the title AND the snippet.
But again, it's been a while since I looked at this in any detail. Should be easy to test.
Also, I have to disagree with Aristotle's comment that "The vast majority of searchers assume that the anchor text shown on Google SERPs pages is the title of the page". Maybe the vast majority of webmasters? But certainly the vast majority of searchers have absolutely NO clue that what is typically shown as the listing link text is the title element from the HTML head element.
Additionally, I think it's very unrealistic to expect that Google or any other site linking to your content "should" link to your page with the title element's value. Most titles are not conducive to being link text... for example "Keyword Phrase 1 - Keyword Phrase 2 - Keyword Phrase 3" or "Some Keyword Phrase - Another Keyword Phrase: sitename".
Also, if people did always link with your title then there would be lots of side affects. Your page might not rank for keyword phrases that the page author never thought to include in the title. It would likely greatly decrease the importance of inbound links and the associated link text since it would no longer be a clue as to what each linking webmaster thought the linked page was about since every linking site would simply be regurgitating the title element.
For competitive keywords I am seeing search results on the first page with titles of 30 words or so (although google will cutoff the length).
Should I assume the title part has become the new of way of "keyword stuffing" or spam to say the least.
|aristotle wrote: |
1. The vast majority of searchers assume that the anchor text shown on Google SERPs pages is the title of the page. So in the real world of the internet, there is effectively no difference.
Honestly, I doubt the vast majority of users know or even care where that text comes from. The only point it servers in the SERPs is to indicate to the user whether that particular result might have what they're looking for.
That said, I'm of two minds about this activity. I can see why they would do it where it's beneficial, but I don't personally feel that it's Google's responsibility. Then again, it is their responsibility to make sure the user finds what they're looking for. If the page does contain information relevant to their query, but the page title doesn't reflect that fact, then maybe it's not so bad...
|internetheaven wrote: |
Does Google treat the words either side of any "delimiter" differently?
I doubt it. They're just making an obvious suggestion to visually separate the name of your site from the title of the page. Afterall, "ExampleSocialSite Sign up for a new account", or "Sign up for a new account ExampleSocialSite" just don't look very good...
Rewriting the title is not unlike the meta description not being used at times. Does a sentence fragment in a SERP spoil your brand image?
Just as we have noydir and noodp, we may need a nogoogle. :)
With Google so willing to rewrite titles these days, that does seem to indicate that exact-keyword-in-title does not carry the kind of ranking power that it once did, right? It still means something, but not nearly what it did in the past, I'd say.
|Rewriting the title is not unlike the meta description not being used at times. |
You mean in the "not entirely unlike tea" sense?
There's a huge difference between not using something, and changing it. Wouldn't you protest to high heaven if a site's snippet started in with the first half-dozen words of your meta description... and then veered into something you'd never seen in your life?
Thanks engine, for sharing this informative post with us, also for sharing this useful links :-)
|Anybody got any thoughts on whether to include business name/ domain in title? |
I generally don't do this unless I feel adding the brand name would provide some value to users, such as if I know they will be looking for the site in particular for a set of queries. Business owners and CEOs always seem to want it in the title for ego reasons. For me, unless you are trying to disambiguate the results by adding the brand, or you are making a specific effort at brand building over traffic, I wouldn't take up a chunk of the 60 or so characters you have for a title with your brand or domain. Keep the title focused on the primary keyword the page is intended to rank for and write the title in a way that compels users to click on your result over others.
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