Robert_Charlton - 11:52 pm on Feb 6, 2013 (gmt 0)
The title tag of the page is similar to: Widget Building Tips to Accelerate Widget Building.
I think that the above might be over optimized. Do you think that it is?
Yes, I think it is over optimized, and it sounds like you're becoming aware of that too.
Back in the 90s we used to have discussions about how many times you could use a word (ie, a single word) in a title... and consensus among cautious SEOs, even then, was to try to avoid using the single word more than once, but, if you couldn't avoid that, you perhaps could use it twice. But there was an awareness that repetition for ranking had already been overdone, and that it could hurt more than it could help.
A few years back (guessing around 2010), there was a period of speculation where it seemed that repeating a word in a title might help... all the major widget vendors in BigTown were doing it. ;) I'm seeing now (at least in the titles that Google is displaying) that the BigTown widget crowd seems to have scaled back... that "widget" or "BigTown", eg, are used more than once only if one or the other of the repeated words is also part of a brand name.
I don't know that one word repeated in a title matters all that much... and there are a huge number of other factors. I try not to do it because it sounds bad.
When you get into repeating exact phrases, though, as you have in your example, I feel that you are really getting into spammy territory, because it's not very likely that two-word repetitions occur often in nature. Three-word repetitions less natural yet. When in doubt, read your copy out loud and notice where it sounds awkward, perhaps even feels awkward to say. If you have a whole site like that, you might have problems.
I am thinking that I could change the title tag to (1) Tips to Accelerate Widget Building or (2) Construction and Design Tips to Accelerate Widget Building.
Would these be better title tags?
I'd probably go with (1). This too, though, depends on other factors.