• http://www.andykuiper.com Andy Kuiper

    Nice concise article :-) I’ve noticed though, that the title tags are cutting of after 66 characters rather than 70, and that (since December/11?) the description has gone down to 150 characters. It’s been my experience, however I may be off the mark.
    Thanks for taking the time to write this article.

  • http://wordswordsseowords.com/ Christopher

    I think it’s important to note that the amount of information on a SERP is constrained in size by the size of the web page, and that in turn is constrained by the size of the average computer monitor. It’s purely a usability issue: search engines, like any other website, can only put so much information on a web page for it to be easily read and, ideally, without you having to do a lot scrolling to see the bottom of the page. So Google is only displaying 65-70 characters, but that doesn’t mean they are only storing that amount of information from the title tag — it’s likely that Google and Bing are storing more than just 60-70 & 155-160 characters from the title & meta description tags respectively.

    Jill Whalen of High Ranking Advisor has done some tests (that I haven’t seen) where she concluded the search engines will take in more than the displayable amount of information, but nobody knows how much. I wrote about this here, mostly conjecture, but supplying more than the displayable amount in those tags might be worth it: http://tinyurl.com/84q3urq

  • Ryan Crawford

    Excellent refresher post!!! Just doing a large amount of title tag alterations on a new site i am working on, and this is an excellent post.

    Fully agree with all points made, especially about how it’s a big waste repeating title tags in the h1 tag. It’s a great area to enter some additional value to the reader and really help them understand the content that is to follow.

  • César ཨོཾ་མ་ཎི་པ་དྨེ

    Really interesting! I had the idea that the h1 and the title tag must be the same textual keyword.

  • http://www.bluecorona.com benlanders

    You know what drives me nuts (yeah, yeah, I know – who cares about me)? When I do a search for, “XYZ service in My City, My State” and I get ~10 pages with virtually the same title tag. It typically goes something like this: Keyword Phrase | Keyword Phrase | City, City, City, State | Brand.

    On the one hand, I get it. Having your most important keywords closest to the beginning of the tag works. I’ve got a similar convention on my site and so do many of our clients. However, I sense a change coming (if it isn’t here already). If “brands are the solution to cleaning up the cesspool which is the internet”, I wonder when Google and the other search engines will start rewarding truly compelling tags vs. those that favor keyword and keyword variation repetition?

  • Hyderali Shaikh

    One more thing I wanted to ask. What is better between the title tags like for ex- many people are writing commas (,) , pipes (|) , hyphen (-) etc. So, what do you think would be best to write in between the title tags? I assume many people consider commas as spam. Correct me if i’m wrong.

    Thanks for the post.

  • brettyount

    @ Christopher

    I read your post some time ago about extra long descriptions. I thought it was interesting at the time, and even more so once I noticed one of my client’s SERP page descriptions included a verbatim copy of alt text…

  • http://www.aerialandhandlingservices.com catkins10

    Great to have an article covering the basics and reminding us that no matter what other link building and SEO tricks you have, if you don’t get the basics right then nothing else matters. Thanks

  • http://actwebconsulting.com Amy C. Teeple

    Nice job reminding us of the basics – and teaching any new SEO copywriters out there. The one thing I would add, which you alluded to, is to make the titles “clickable.” Does the page highlight a priced difference on your widgets? It doesn’t hurt to add “50% off” to the title. It might not be keyword rich, but it will appeal to the actual person reviewing the SERPs.

    Thanks again for a strong post.

  • http://www.perfect-it.fr say42

    I have just been reading an article on SEW where they are pushing the idea of using a pipe between phrases in the title tags, is this something new ?

  • http://twitter.com/PShkapenko Pavel Shkapenko

    Very good article. Nothing new actually but done systematically and put it all together.