• http://www.moosylvania.com/ Sean Doggendorf

    Hadn’t thought about reducing the length of title tags for the site links. For large sites, that could be a pretty strong strategy to improve click-thru to the direct page.

    It’d be worth testing for smaller sites. If a majority of visits are entering the homepage through branded keywords, it may be more effective to reduce to those to the sitelink length than optimize them for longer, non-branded keywords. It could also be tested against a mix of the two as well as suggested.

    Great thoughts on this Tom!

  • http://www.webrankinfo.com/ Olivier Duffez (WebRankInfo)

    Thank you Thomas for these great tips.
    Can you detail how you find that the limit is exactly 512px?
    In my opinion, it’s not always the case, it could depend on the browser settings.

  • TomSchmitz

    On Google the results column is fixed width and set to 512px. If you use Chrome’s Inspect Element and explore any listing (look for then scroll the right side window to the very bottom), you can see 512 on the CSS.

  • http://www.webrankinfo.com/ Olivier Duffez (WebRankInfo)

    Thank you. I’ve found that 512px with Inspect Element (even though I can’t find it in the source code where CSS are included).
    But if you modify the zoom in your browser, the SERP width can be more or less than 512px and Google adjusts the way the titles are truncated.

  • David Wiggs

    Good post! Thanks.

  • http://www.headbangtoday.com Juanne Coetzee

    Not to be a party pooper but the title character limit has been 50 – 60 since the dawn of SEO as a solution to better visibility. It’s always been best practice to keep it below that limit. If you’ve been aiming for “70” and think you’re acing SEO… boy have I got a surprise for you…

  • RightTech

    I’d quibble about the title change making SERPS cleaner and easier to read. I found the old style much easier, as the underlines helped focus and lead the eye, plus it provided more text (info) for me to evaluate the page. I haven’t checked, but I suspect the new results also reduced the number of organic results you see above the fold.

    The new SERPS are better for ads, which I suspect is the main point. The new SERPS reduce the number of characters in organic titles to be closer to those of ads, and the quick glance impression is that top of page ads are closer in appearance to organic results than they were before.

  • http://www.sbwebcenter.com/ Steve B

    I noticed that Google will also generate different title tags for brand new websites, or titles that “seem” a bit too spammy.

  • http://websiteadvantage.com.au/ Tony McCreath (Tiggerito)

    On top of that they limit the number of words in the title text so that it will fit into the 512px box without cropping.

    Just after the font size change the text was still based on the old look and we could see partial words before the ellipses. It took them a few weeks before they fixed it.

  • http://belongstocomics.blogspot.in/ Sanjay Singh

    I have done some
    experiment with a site. I did not change the title tag but use lowercase. I got
    better ranking on my targeted keywords with no truncate.

  • Sudhir Mantena

    Sorry to ask a related question in this article…
    In order to get the max benefit from these Keywords in Image Alt Tags, should they be separated by spaces or hyphens?

  • http://www.sparkjunction.com/ Spark Junction

    Interesting tips, thank you for the information.
    I think we should still make a clear distinction between that appears in the window title and the H1 titles that are visible in the content. It’s not the same thing.
    I tend to use identical or closely similar titles for both.

  • Rahul Kumar

    Many thanks Thomas for useful post but can you please tell me that How exactly Brand name matters in Google SERPs?

  • TomSchmitz

    I did write title element, which is specific to . :)

  • TomSchmitz

    On a practical level it matters little since Google ignores the hyphen

  • Sudhir Mantena

    Oh does it? I guess it doesn’t matter. Thanks.

  • Vikash Kumar

    I have a question regarding Image naming should we use + instead of space in Image name. Will it effect in any manner. As i have started seeing image names with +.

  • http://websiteadvantage.com.au/ Tony McCreath (Tiggerito)

    A bit off topic really. But, I would use dashes (-). spaces are a pain and can get converted into +s and other things. It’s best to avoid those symbols that may get changed or have multiple meanings. dashes are safer.

  • http://www.lawolfe.com/ Lahle Wolfe

    Great article. Rolling with the changes, whether we love them or not, is imperative to the health of websites. Short and to the point is not such a bad thing. Google has implemented far bigger changes and this one really may be for better user experience rather than yet (another) antispam effort.

  • http://websiteadvantage.com.au/ Tony McCreath (Tiggerito)

    There are a few around. Google “search result preview tool” and you might find a nice one :-)

  • https://www.yahoo.com/ Aidan Beanland

    Check out http://www.mobileserps.com/ too – this previews your page titles as they appear on a smartphone.

  • http://listice.com Shailesh Jangra

    Agree with your post. I usually supposed to create Meta’s for my projects and I also feel the change in Title length. Now I am come to know about 512 px. Thanks… :)

  • Guest

    Google’s ignoring some of our title tags and uses H1s and H2s instead to create a title that appears in the results. Any idea why?

  • http://websiteadvantage.com.au/ Tony McCreath (Tiggerito)

    Google probably thinks your heading better suits what the searcher is looking for.