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I often have long titles because I put product names in them and I also like having the site name in the title, so I put the product name first, and the site title last, since the product is what the visitor is coming for.
Be creative when writing your page titles. Try out different combinations. Try to get both a singular and plural version of your main phrase in the title.
If you have seven words in your title, try different variations before making it final. I usually have Note Pad open and will cut and paste the title 5 or 6 times. I'll then start modifying each one to see what types of keyword combinations I can achieve just by rearranging the words.
The most important thing is to make sure it makes sense. Don't just line up a list of keyword phrases. Remember, the title is the first thing the user sees when performing a search query at their favorite SE. It's really your first opportunity to make an impression, it should be a lasting one and, one that makes them click and buy if you are selling a product or service! ;)
Now the following I did. i picked up words from title which are not used in page any where except for title and meta tags (every one knows meta tags worth zero for google). these words were appearing after 100 characters, many even way far from 100 characters in the title. the word I chose were
Now try it yourself. i found the site on top even going way away from rulz....... So what do you say people any proof to disproof it? I think the limit is 60 words and not 60 characters :) But this title even have more than 60 words....
[edited by: Marcia at 9:05 am (utc) on Oct. 24, 2003]
[edit reason] No URLs or specifics, please. [/edit]
The weight is quite difficult to tell, as example 1 (Tauchen, Golf,...) gives only that 1 result and example 2 (Cogolin, St.Tropez,...) gives 2, with the second being a JS redirect page. In the second example they profit from a spelling error (it's actually La Croix Valmer and not Lacroix Valmer).
I've got a couple of pages *accidentally* ranking #4 & #5 (indented) for a three word phrase out of 1,190,000 pages returned that have absolutely nothing on the pages. Not a speck of text, no graphics - nothing whatsoever but a background graphic.
The fact that the phrase is in the page titles (short ones) may help but it isn't why they're ranking, it's in anchor text in the alt attribute of images linking to the pages - one of the words is, and the other words are in the text link pointing to the pages with the images that are linking to the ones that are ranking. That's why it says in the cache that the term only appears in pages linking to that page.
There's no reason why Google wouldn't pick up what's in long titles even if they are truncated, but in the search I mentioned (without mentioning a specific) there are a number of sites in the top ten that don't have it in the title at all - it's anchor text.
I've had something ranking #29 out of a few hundred thousand pages and there is NO page there at_all. It's just the directory exposed on the server because there is no index page, it was removed. But there was still a LINK or two pointing to it with the anchor text from a fairly decent PR index page of the site and another one or two still floating around.
Sure, what's in page titles helps but in itself it won't make the critical difference if that's all there is, if anything is even in the normal level of being competitive.
Limited testing isn't conclusive in itself, there's a lot that can happen strictly by accident - like in my case.
for example, if your URL is delicious-dog-food.com, you should refer to it as delicious-widget-food.com here at ww. (widgets seem to be the name of the game here).
Likewise, if you target the phrase discount dog food you should refer to it as, you guessed it, discount widget food.
As for title tags, I prefer to use a very short (10 words or less) and targeted title. The web user will see the title first - it's the most important thing. The challenging and creative part is balancing optimization with user appeal.
Titles should be less than 64 characters.
Thanks zgb999. For optimium performance, I'll reiterate what I mentioned earlier, title elements should be succinct and enticing. There have been many who have tested the title theories over the years and the final result was that short titles outperformed long titles 9 out of 10 times.
Sometimes we tend to want to put as much as we possibly can in that title from an SEO standpoint. Unfortunately, the more that is there, the less weight it has. If your primary phrase is three words, then your title might only be three words, that's all you'll need if the rest of the page is focused.
From a visual standpoint in the SERPs, titles that contain the search phrase and are worded properly so they make sense will typically get the highest CTR (click-thru rate).
I think titles that are not truncated look much more visibly appealing than those that truncate... ...you know what I mean? ;)
GoogleGuy once said the answer is 42.
[I think he was kidding]...