Title tags are one of the most important SEO elements. It can have a big impact on rankings. In my experience, optimizing your title tag can significantly improve your rankings.
There are many ways to optimize your title tag.
One is to stay within the 55-60 character limit. Although his other SEO suggests it’s fine to use title tags up to 70 characters in length.
There is also concern that organic performance may be adversely affected if titles are truncated or rewritten to Google in search results.
This post describes the basis for such concerns, Google’s official statement on title length, and my findings after manually examining the 645 title tags on the first page of Google’s SERPs. increase.
Examples of missing title tags in SERPs
Technically speaking, the number of title tag characters that Google can display in SERPs is measured in pixels. If your title tag is too long, Google can truncate it like this.
Updating title tag and after
In August 2021, Google released an update targeting title tags. This update will allow Google to display a different title to users in his SERPs than what is available in the HTML title tag.
The HTML title tag may be rewritten in SERPs if:
- too long.
- It’s full of keywords.
- Repetitive “boilerplate” language is missing or included (i.e. the home page could be called “home”).
When the update was released, it caused an uproar in the SEO community as many SEOs reported incidents where the title rewrite was “horribly wrong”. This prompted Google’s John Mueller to tweet about it as well.
Rob Woods reported an incident where the title tag was replaced with a URL slug.
SEO community Chatter showed many examples Google replaced
<title> In some cases, search result tags, including H1 tags, image alt text, alternate page elements such as image filenames, and selected text were not in the page’s source code. The most prominent insight we got from the title tag update is that “Google wants to show short titles in his SERPs.”
This caused panic in the SEO community. Many of his SEOs began to emphasize the importance of avoiding title rewrites by keeping titles short and within character limits.
Everyone knows that Google wants short titles in SERPs.
But does that mean that the SERP displayed title (which may be truncated or rewritten) is used for ranking instead of the HTML title?
This leads many SEOs to assume that long titles will be truncated or rewritten, and Google will not consider them for ranking, but instead consider new titles that appear in the SERPs for ranking. .
What is Google’s official statement on title length?
On an episode of Search Off the Record, Google’s John Mueller asked Gary Illyes about title tag length.
“I have a question, and it might just be a yes or no, Gary. title Is it worth having a tag?”
To this Illies replied with a very clear and precise “yes”.
He added: “titleThe length is an externally created metric… technically there is a limit to the length of something in the page or something like that, but that’s not a small number..not 160 characters, etc. 100 characters, 200 characters , 20 characters, and so on. “
And “Try to keep it exactly on the page. But don’t think too much about how long it is, long enough or too long. If it fills the screen, It’s probably too long, but if you only have one sentence that fits on a line or two, you can’t handle it manually.”
According to Google’s documentation on titles (aka title links) in SERPs, there is no recommended length for the title tag.
Do long titles affect rankings?
If long title tags can get truncated or rewritten in SERPs, won’t that affect rankings? Luckily, when Lily Ray posted this question on Twitter, Glenn Gabe said I got a reply.
Here’s what Mueller said at Google’s SEO office hours on December 11, 2020.
So even if the title is cut or rewritten in the SERPs, Google still uses the HTML title tag for ranking considerations and not the title that appears in the SERPs.
I would like to put this discussion to rest. I hope the industry will stop encouraging clients to “shorten” their title tags. This is because nearly every online resource on the topic circulates a title length metric, with no facts or evidence to back it up.
We put together a random set of keywords and analyzed the first page title of the SERPs for each of those keywords.
Here are the results of manually examining 645 title tags:
- Google tends to show short titles. Of the 645 titles that appeared in his SERPs that I analyzed, only 79 (12%) were longer than his 60 characters, with a maximum length of his 68 characters.
- Of the 645 URLs, 286 (22%) had HTML title tags longer than 60 characters, with a maximum length of 139 characters. This means that titles can exceed the 60-character length limit, be truncated, or be rewritten. Still ranked on page 1.
- There was an example where Google actually increased the length of the title tag when excluding pages with no title tag at all. So even short titles can be rewritten. This is commonly seen in LinkedIn profile page titles. example:
- About this URL [
https://ca.linkedin.com/in/michael-kuch-387740207] The HTML title tag is “Michael Kuch | LinkedIn”, but Google decided to display a longer, more descriptive title:
- About this URL [
- Of the 645 sample URLs, 103 URLs increased the length of the title displayed in the SERPs. This is 16% of the total sample.
- The most common length for titles displayed in SERPs in this sample is 58-60 characters (see histogram below).
Check out this Google Spreadsheet to see a complete sample.
Title tag length in 2023
In summary, don’t stick to the 55-60 character limit for title tags. Your title should be as long as it is reasonably required.
Title tags are one of the few assets that have a significant impact on rankings and still have some control over them. Make the most of them.
If you’re worried about getting cut or your title rewritten, know that these are secondary concerns.
Optimize your title to rank #1, even if it exceeds the 60-70 character limit. Now try adjusting how the title appears in her SERPs.
But title length doesn’t matter if you don’t rank them.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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