A new insight into how Google determines title tag length in search results is currently gaining traction in the online world. Up until now, the nearly universal belief has been that Google decides how long the title tag should be based upon the number of characters in the tag, and that the optimal title tag length is less than 70 characters. However, research by Internet marketing agency, Standing Dog Interactive, along with a number of other companies, such as SEOmofo and Chocolate SEO, have discovered that the title tag length displayed by Google actually depends upon how wide the title tag is.
According to Standing Dog, Google will not shorten a title tag if it is longer than 70 characters. Instead, the search engine giant will only shorten title tags it believes are too wide, that is, that have too many pixels. The company tested, and proved, its theory by successfully posting a blog that had a title tag of 99 characters and 466 pixels. Even though Google did eventually shorten the title tag, the final tag was 93 characters, far more than the 70 that has been the industry standard for quite some time.
This discovery of Google’s practices when determining title tag length overturns what, until now, has been common wisdom. Numerous companies, including SEOmoz, have recommended limiting title tags to 70 characters. The belief has been that Google would automatically shorten tags longer than 70 characters. What Standing Dog’s test has proven is that instead, Google shortens title tags that are too wide, not too long.
The practical result of this insight is more freedom for companies when choosing and posting title tags. Instead of working to limit characters, companies can now focus instead on communicating their point as clearly as possible with as many keywords as possible. As long as the main idea is clearly communicated, the company need not worry about the length. Instead, the company need only worry about limiting the width of the title. This news arms companies with a new weapon in their SEO arsenal, and equips them to more effectively and confidently put articles on the web.