Title tags optimization is fundamental to enhancing your prominence in Google SERPs. But restrictions on character limits are a major point to consider. Among the vital SEO elements is the title tag character limit. Your rankings may be significantly affected, and improving title tags can raise them significantly. Numerous ways are there to optimize a title tag.
One way to make sure is that they fit the 55 – 60-character limit. Though via other SEOs experts, it is ok to have title tags that are 70 characters long. There exists a concern that a truncated title or having it rewritten can negatively impact organic performance.
Technically speaking, the number of characters in a title tag that Google can display in SERPs is measured in pixels. If the title tag is too long, Google can trim it off.
The update of the title tag and its after-effects
In August 2021, Google went on to release an update regarding the title tag character limit. It enables Google to show a different title to the users in SERPs than the present one in the HTML title tag. In SERPs, the HTML title tags may be rewritten when it is
- Stuffed with excess keywords
- Too long
When this upgrade was made available, the SEO community erupted and a few of them have gone wrong with their titles. Numerous instances of Google substituting title tags in search results with alternative page elements, such as H1 tags and picture file names, have been discussed in the SEO community. In some situations, the picked text is even absent from the page’s source code. A noticeable feature is Google wants control of the meta tag title length limit.
This has led to a degree of confusion in the SEO community. A handful of them began to downplay the significance of keeping titles brief and within the allotted character limit, as well as the necessity of avoiding title rewrites. The longer title tags may be cut- off or rewritten.
It is evident that Google wants a shorter SEO page title character limit. But it does not indicate they will use the titles displayed in SERP (it can be potentially rewritten or cut off) for rankings instead of the HTML title.
This has led to an assumption among SEO experts that the new title will be cut- off or rewritten. Google is not going to consider them for rankings. Instead, they are going to consider the new title displayed in SERPs for rankings instead.
What are the official views of Google about title length?
The title length happens to be a made-up internal metric. Technically there exists a limit like how long anything can be on a page, but the number is not small. It is not 160 characters, and the number can differ considerably.
Keep the title character page limit precise to the page, as there is no need to think about how long it is. If it fills up your screen, it may be too long, but it is just a simple sentence that fits one or two lines. You are not going to obtain a manual sanction for it soon.
If we refer to Google’s updates on SERP titles, there is no restriction on the length of a title tag.
Would longer titles have an impact on rankings?
If longer title tags can be cut off or rewritten in SERPs, will it not go on to have an impact on the rankings? This is a question that often pops up on various social media channels. So, whether the title is cut off or rewritten in SERP, Google is expected to be using the HTML tag for ranking considerations and not the titles that are shown in SERPs.
Google has always been precise with what you provide in the title tag is used. This is irrespective of the fact that the systems change the title dynamically in relation to SERPs. A lot of analysis has been done, but noticeable improvements have not emerged. The moment you cut off the titles or have them rewritten in SERPs, Google will still use the HTML tag for ranking considerations and not for the title shown in SERPs.
An in-depth analysis
An in-depth analysis went on to showcase the following pointers.
- Google advocates the use of shorter titles. Based on an analysis of 645 displayed in SERPs, only 12 % were above 60 characters, with the maximum length as 68 characters.
- Of the 645 URLs, 286 URLs (26 %) had HTML title tags that were longer than 60 characters. The maximum length was 139 characters. This means you can go above the 60-character title length, get cut off or rewritten, and still be on the first page rankings.
- There were certain occasions where Google actually raised the title tag length if we further filter out pages without any title tags. It is a common feature in LinkedIn page titles.
- The length of the titles displayed in SERP increased in 103 URLs of the 645 URL samples. It works out to be 16 % of the total sample.
- The common length of the titles displayed in SERP is the sample between 58 to 560 characters.
Title tag length in 2023 with an eye on the future
In a nutshell, you no longer need to stick to a 55- 60 title tag character limit. Your titles can be as long as needed for a reason. Title tags fall into the category of assets that is likely to impact rankings, but there is still a degree of control over them. Let us try to get the best out of them.
If you are worried about the title being cut- off or rewritten, be aware these are secondary issues. Ranking well is the topmost priority. Optimization of titles to rank first even if you stretch the 65 – 70-character limit.
But if you do not rank, the length of the titles has no relevance.
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