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Should the full title of a blog be included in the page title tag?

Should the full title of a blog be included in the page title tag?

Ask any search engine optimisation (SEO) enthusiast, and they’ll tell you that the title tags on your website should be a maximum of 70 characters long.

Why is that? It’s because they’re standards put in place by Google, of course.

Except, according to Google themselves, they’re not.

In an episode of Google’s Search Off the Record podcast, Gary Illyes, a Google Search team analyst, explained that there is no limit on the preferred length of a title tag.

Illyes suggested that these ideals were generated by the industry, and not recommendations provided by Google themselves.

According to Google Search Centrals official title tag support page, title tags should include ‘descriptive and concise text’.

The document goes on to say that:

‘While there is no limit on how long a title can be, the title link is truncated in Google Search results as needed, typically to fit the device width.’

The takeaway from Google’s official statement is that as long as the title tag clearly describes what the page is about, it can be any length. The search engine results page (SERPS) will only show around 70 characters of your title, but you’re free to use more if necessary.

Which poses the question – should the full title of a blog be included in the page title tag?

If the length of a title tag isn’t a ranking factor, as Google has suggested here, and the blog title is made up of descriptive and concise text, then why not?

Google is smart, and if you were to omit words from your title tag, it’s likely that the search engine will fill in the blanks and return your page within the relevant search results.

However, how friendly is this to the user?

Title tags should make the contents of the page clear to the reader before clicking through to it. Since the title of your page is the first thing a user will see on the search engine results page, it plays a crucial role in choosing which website to visit.

If the title of your blog post clearly summarises the content of the page and will provide the reader with the information they’re looking for, then use it.

Let’s use “What are the positives and negatives of including 70 characters in a title tag?” as an example. This title is 79 characters long (including spaces). Industry standards would lead us to believe that this title is too long and should be shortened to appease Google’s search algorithm.

If we were to shorten this title down, to “Why should you include 70 characters in a title tag?”, for example – although this would fit within the desired character count, it may not be useful to the user if they’re not looking for negatives and positives.

In this case, it’s appropriate to include the full blog title in the title tag so that search engine users and crawl bots can understand what the content on the page is about.

By substituting words from your title to stay within this character limit, you may end up increasing the bounce rate on your page, as the reader may leave without finding the information they’re looking for.

Need some help generating the most appropriate title tags for your website? Speak to the team here at Engage Web today.

Lizi MacGregor

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