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New Google Title Tag Length Guidelines: 55 Characters
+ SERP Preview Tool

http://moz.com/blog/new-title-tag-guidelines-preview-tool

Dr. +Pete Meyers looked at 89,787 titles in Google's newly designed search results to see where they became truncated. While the length of the titles range due to letter width, bolded words, and CAPITALIZATION, he found the following cut-off lengths at 5 levels of confidence:

 • 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%)

Read the whole report and try out the tool at http://moz.com/blog/new-title-tag-guidelines-preview-tool

#seo #google #searchengineoptimization 
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32 comments
 
Thanks for sharing +Cyrus Shepard . So the advice seems to be 50 characters or a bit more if you avoid w, m etc, bold text or capitals. How does Google imagine that this helps their users (other than making the results page look a bit more modern)?
 
Thanks +Cyrus Shepard - very helpful post.  The font size Google are using still looks too big to me in proportion to the rest of the elements on the page. Maybe they might tweak it down a bit, but 50 words it is as the near 100% confidence limit.
 
+Cyrus Shepard in the end the title needs a high click through rate. Which to me seems more important than if the title is cut off. Is there any evidence a cutt-off title effects your SERPs? Being its your first impression it is everything to a degree. Is there a guru of title creation? 
 
I saw a few cut offs at 52 characters it seemed, in last week's preview. I think that is going to be my new recommendation. They might shrink it even more.
 
Nice to know. That's a lot of title tags to adjust!
 
+Cyrus Shepard Thanks for the post. So websites with thousands of products that have page titles that conform to the previous recommended number of characters now need to rewrite those thousands of titles? That's a huge imposition on a great many small businesses!
 
+Peter Lunn Across the data set, 11 titles with <=50 characters were cut off. Many of them were ALL CAPS titles, though. I think 50 is a bit conservative, honestly.
 
If you want searchers to read (and click on) your page titles in search results, doesn't it make sense to keep titles to a reasonable length?

On SERPs, titles should be click bait, not essays or laundry lists.
 
I know some major SEO firms are to this day recommending essentially double-length title tags, with the idea that only the relevant portion will be displayed. This is a practice I strongly disagree with. 50-60 characters is plenty, 120-150 is entirely excessive and frankly looks like spam.
 
+Pete Meyers would you change existing titles? Also, it means only for display purpose but Google does "read" over 55...? My domain/brand suffix is 14 chars...
 
Just see the funny video of a sardar......hehehehehehehe...
kadi hass bhi liya karo... Funny Sardar
 
+Cyrus Shepard The toss up between targeting certain keywords and increasing CTR with a catchy title is the main issue.  This seems to be a follow on from Google's automatic inclusion of what they determine to be your brand name in the title tag if it is not present.  Is this an attempt by Google to stop title tags being so influential in search results?  They seem to be far too significant for what they are!
 
+Noam Flint Google does read past the cut-off. The cut-off is via CSS - some additional characters are even present right in the HTML source. So, it's mainly a CTR/usability calculation (and CTR could impact ranking, to some degree). If titles get very long, we sometimes see Google rewrite them entirely. If they're very long AND keyword-loaded, then you could even be looking at devaluation.

All that said, I wouldn't just go hacking at titles to get them under the new limits. I'd preview and track major pages, like your home-page, and make sure those display titles look good. Some of them might be worth updating.
 
Well this is certainly useful to know +Cyrus Shepard - thanks. I've been working on the basis of 70 characters for quite some time. And sometimes it's tricky to write a truly compelling headline with even a 70 character limit. They do say that constraints make you more creative though...
 
Thanks +Pete Meyers for the articulate explanation. I think your last comment hits the nail on the head. 
 
+Chris Sutton Not sure I would jump to that task immediately. Google likely still uses those keywords in its ranking algorithm. And not all truncated titles will result in lower CTR. 
 
+Simon Ensor my own suspicion is this is purely aesthetic, and ranking considerations are not at play. At Moz, we are conservatively not rewriting most of our titles. 
 
 If you want to stuff your title tags with keywords you can still do it :) Google will not show all the keywords, but it doesn't mean Google can't read them :) You shouldn't do keyword stuffing because of the other reason - is it wrong :)
 
This is a right pain in the ass. More work!! Yipeee!!!
 
+Cyrus Shepard great post is the title length the same for mobile & desktop? Did you look at description length too? 
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