Since Google changed its algorithm on 2013, also considering updates in Penguin and Panda it is now difficult to predict SEO rankings of Web sites in Google result pages. The major deviation I have seen is the ‘Title’ and ‘description’ tags difference in SERP results.  Even though you give a HTML title tag definition for any of your web page it is not mandatory that Google take your own page Title or Description in SERP.

The Moz Study data shows that Google SERP cuts Title characters at a length of 48 and 95% Query saved at 55 character Limit. Here is the Data Display

  • 80% – 57 characters (81.6%)
  • 90% – 56 characters (91.6%)
  • 95% – 55 characters (95.8%)
  • 99% – 53 characters (98.7%)
  • 99.9% – 49 characters (99.9%)

If all of our Web page title tags were exactly 55 characters long, then we can expect  5%  cut off and 95 % of them to be left alone (1 in 20 would be cut off).

But it also mentioned that 42 character length title too cut-off, if you use all UPPER CASE title letters with spaces. This means Google uses CSS to truncate titles, (18px Arial in a 512-pixel wide <div>) and it is advisable to keep Titles in this ‘CSS’ limit.

So you can calculate the title cut-off rate by Going through the tools (now approximately 512 pixels meaning exact character count) screamingfrog, MOZ title preview tool.

Back in SEO learning and experimenting days I was playing with Titles more. What I was usually doing is creating a .php page which will fetch entire city/products details from a city or product html page and then apply redirect rule in .htaccess to make URL in Html. Once URL comes in HTML, title would automatically change (Will define a dynamic variable inside ‘php’ page and it change according to city names) for Each URL that the web fetches. End result, I only need to create one city page in php that has a dynamic titles, description and Content and I can play with any number of city pages with Just URL mentions.

For Example :

Suppose I need a Title like “Car Rentals Long Beach, CA | Long Beach, Massachusetts Car Rentals | Los Angeles Car Rentals” for a Car rental web site targeting Los Angeles area ‘rent a car’ customers by highlighting the keyword ‘Car Rentals Long Beach’ .

I will define :

$dynaheader = ‘Car Rentals ‘.$citynames.’, CA | ‘. $citynames.’, Massachusetts Car Rentals | Los Angeles Car Rentals’

in cities.php page

And the same title will repeat for all ‘down town cities’ that I am aiming at Los Angeles Area and I was usually getting nice hits on this kind of pages I have developed. Now a days, if you try these kind of tactics in any of your web page Google will clearly define you as a SPAM site(The repletion of Keyword in Web page Titles are now easily getting identified by Google) and will start degrading your web site content.

What is Google’s Recommendations on creating descriptive titles?

  1. Titles should be specified in <title> Here is my Title </title > tags and this should usually define inside head section of the web page.
  2. Avoid keyword stuffing :  Do not try to add more keywords in Title tag as I explained above in ‘car rental’ example.
  3. Avoid repeated Titles: A distinct title is important for each pages of the web site. I have seen most of SEO guys usually starts title with ‘cheap/discount sales offers’.  Repeating the same Cheap and Discount words on all titles will also consider as spammy.
  4. Brand name practice in Title : It is Common that web page titles commonly include Brand name at the beginning or at the end Titles. Google recommend to avoid this in all web pages instead try to include brand name with a hyphen, colon, or pipe, like this:

<title>Example site: Contact us for New registration<title>

Resolving issues Related to Title:

It is easy to resolve issues related to titles:

Go to Web master tool Area. Select your Domain and check for HTML improvements under ‘Search Appearance Section’. You will get choices of:

  • Missing title tags
  • Duplicate title tags
  • Long title tags
  • Short title tags
  • Non-informative title tags

At the right hand side you can see how many pages are affected by any of these results, Just click on any particular links that opens to another page, from there you will get Option “Download this table” and download problem pages as CSV or Google Docs.

Conclusion

Effectively plan SEO title Tags for web pages by ensuring that it does not contain excess characters, spammy words, keyword stuffing and completely content oriented one.

It required time consumption same as that of Keyword planning and can include one primary keyword that helps users to find a specific page.  It has to be strictly adopted that now we need to generate relevant Title tag for users based on the content of web page who comes with a significant Query and not for Search Engines.

You have a different View point on this article? Discuss your ideas with
Ajesh G Unnithan | SEO Expert India, Kerala

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