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Using title tags longer than 70 characters?

 4:26 pm on Mar 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

I ask myself wether it makes any sense to use a bit longer title tags of about 75 - 80 characters. The last one or two words may not be shown usually in the "serps", o.k.
But they could count for ranking purposes and may be shown sometimes in the serps, dependant on the words of the search.

This question came up for me, because I realized that on one certain page of my site the last word (beginning at 70 characters) is not shown in the serps, even when searching with this word. It's only shown in the description. I tried a lot of different searches with this last word. Never shown.

The user is "all" for Google, so this is a clear signal that Google tends to ignore this word and probably also won't count it for ranking purposes.

Anyone with the same or opposite exoeriences?



 5:57 pm on Mar 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

This recent discussion might be helpful:


Robert Charlton

 6:25 pm on Mar 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

Actually, in Google, maximum display length has been about 63-64 characters for quite a while. Google's recent SERP redesign, though, makes even shorter titles the default display, and the title element is now effectively about 55 characters, not 70.

About a week ago, I brought up some considerations of this new length in a thread originally titled "Google SERPs larger font effectively shortens title display". For clarity, I've changed that to...

Google SERP redesign cuts visible title to 55 characters
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4656190.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Note that Google has historically looked at words in titles that it hasn't displayed, but I do agree with deeper's observation that "the user is all", so we need to pay attention to what the user sees.

Additionally, questions of title focus, page focus, usage in title and on the page, concepts vs keywords, type of site, etc, are all going to enter into this. We're probably already seeing changes in how Google deals with title rewriting. I myself would not go longer to pull in extra keywords. But see the thread I mention for questions about things like product page titles, legacy titles, etc. It's not completely clear cut.


 1:53 am on Mar 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

"The user is "all" for Google, so this is a clear signal that Google tends to ignore this word and probably also won't count it for ranking purposes."

Don't mistake what Google shows in the SERPs with what they use to rank the page. I've experimented with title elements with 300-400 characters worth of unique keyword phrases just to prove the point... All phrases in the title appeared nowhere on the page, nowhere in the HTML other than the <title>, and the only backlink pointing at the page had link text of "Test" so the keywords in the title didn't appear in any backlinks.

Yet page ranked for keywords and keyword phrases literally all the way out to the very end of the 400 character title.

So if you're thinking that Google is ignoring everything past 55 (which is now about the most that is shown), or 65 (the old limit), or 70, etc. is ignored from a ranking perspective then I would think again.


 1:55 am on Mar 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

PS: Not saying it's a great user experience when Google cannot highlight the keywords from the search query in the SERP title. Nor am I advocating 300 or 400 character titles. Only stating that based on experiments that I have performed, Google uses the entire <title> element for ranking regardless of how long it is.


 4:19 pm on Mar 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your experience.

It is just a speculation, not my conviction, that words in the title tag may not (much) count for ranking, when Google refuses to show them in the serps. Therefore I said "...signal... Google tends..." Sure, basically two different things. I may be wrong, therefore this thread...

But imagine: The user is "all" for Google. This user may search with "healthy apples". Although "healthy" is there in the title tag (as last word at about 70 characters) and although healthy also appears in the description and paragraphs and although the user searches with exactly this word, Google says "no" to the user. They say no to the user, their darling, not to the (SEO-)webmaster. He can't see the word, though it's there and he wants to see it. I think this shouldn't be ignored, it "tells" something.

Nevertheless I never would use very long title tags, just in order to get 40 words being counted for longtail ranking or combinations. I can't imagine to work this properly. In my case it's just a question Of the last one or two words of the title tag.

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