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I know that titles are truncated at or around 70 characters in Google but does anyone know if the entire title is read? If you have a title that is say 90 characters long and you have a keyword in the portion of the title over the 70 character limit will Google (or any other engine) see that you have used that keyword and give you credit for it?
Developing an Effective <title> element
I think we can safely assume that Google will read a title at 90 characters in length. But, how Google weighs that title is another factor. Typically primary keyword phrases should be at the beginning of the title. Anything at the end, if not specific to the beginning of the title, may not produce the results you are expecting.
For example, if you just dropped a few secondary keywords at the end of the title for the sake of it. I don't think that will yield the results you'd be looking for. ;)
Even though google truncates it do they count it for SEO?
Yes. Unfortunately I don't think any of us know what the actual character count is before Google goes into ignore mode.
I don't suppose that would be a hard thing to test.
joined:Nov 11, 2000
So I guess I would ask: Has anyone done that testing? Is there any imperial data to support keywords being used in a title tag that are over the truncation point for display are still giving some SEO juice. So they are not displayed in the SERPs but are still helping get them in to the results.
Drew - This won't be "imperial" (I haven't risen that high up in the pantheon ;) ), but, from empirical data I can said what I said in the thread pageone mentions... that, the longer the title and the more competitive the phrase you're targeting, the more other factors come into play. I suggest you reread the thread about what some of these are.
I haven't taken it to a precise cutoff point, not even to 90 characters, because there are benefits to keeping the title shorter, but Google does appear to look at words over the roughly 63 characters it displays.
but, from empirical data I can said what I said in the thread pageone mentions
I was told by two people that the length is not that important.
Actually from testing done in the past, the results would lead you to think otherwise. That shorter titles outperform longer titles.
It's actually a moot argument. The goal when writing effective <title> elements is to make it as short and succinct as possible. If you've got to worry about character counts and what is getting indexed, then you might have a few too many words in your title.
I seriously doubt that any ground breaking testing could be done in this area. You're talking about one of hundreds of factors that determine the relevance of a page. With the title being one of the most important elements, why even take the chance of crossing the threshold? What purpose would it serve?
And that even though engines such as Google will truncate the title.
Hmmm, if I were scanning search results, I'd expect to find the term I was searching for within the page title. If it is in the portion that is truncated, I'm not going to see it. Titles are meant to be short and "clickable". If you've got 10, 12, 15 words in a title, then there may be a problem. For one, I think there is a dilution factor involved if the title is "too long".
The data after the truncated portion is still indexed and will still help rankings.
I'd go as far as saying the entire title is indexed. Though I wouldn't commit to the "still help rankings" part.
It's really hard for me to sit here and think of titles out loud that would pass whatever limits may be in place. A title is not a sentence. It is typically 3-7 words that "succinctly" describes the page overall.