What’s The Scoop On Google’s Title Tag Length?
Content | Design & Development | SEO
A common question that gets asked is “is there a recommended length for title tags?.” While the official answer is “no”, there are still some best practices you should follow when crafting your title tags.
What is a Title Tag?
First, what exactly is a title tag, and why are they important for SEO? A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a page. They appear on the search engine results pages as clickable headlines. The length of a title tag is based on how they’re displayed on desktop and mobile devices. If they’re longer than what Google is displaying in SERPS, then they’ll be shown as cut off. Which results in no one being able to read the full title tag if it’s over 70 characters. For this reasoning, many search experts recommend the title tag character limit to stay between 50 to 70 characters long.
Keep in mind that Google’s title tag length recommendations are not for ranking purposes. Google has never said that the character limit is what their algorithm is limited to when it comes to indexing.
A few well-known authorities in the SEO community have also written about the subject and have given their own recommendations. Here’s what they had to say when addressing the title tag character limit.
Moz’s Title Tag Recommendation
In their SEOLearning Center, Moz goes into great detail about writing title tags. Here, they cover what the optimal title tag length should be. Moz’s recommendation on title tag length is that the character limit should stay between 50 to 70 characters. They also note that there is no real character limit.
“Google typically displays the first 50–60 characters of a title tag. If you keep your titles under 60 characters, our research suggests that you can expect about 90% of your titles to display properly.
Ahref’s Title Tag Recommendation
It’s no surprise that Ahrefs, another big name in the industry would choose to cover this topic as well. Their recommendation on title tag length varies slightly from what Moz had to say. On Ahref’s blog, they delve into their four-step process of creating the perfect title tag and why they’re more important than you might think. In the blog, they suggest for title tags to stay within 50-60 characters.
“Google starts cutting off title tags in the SERPs after around 50–60 characters. (Well, it’s based on pixels, but 50–60 characters is a good rule of thumb.) So keep your title tags around this length.” – Joshua Hardwick, Head of Content
Now that we’ve learned that these title tag character limits are merely suggestions, what’s the official word from Google? The official statement came from Gary Illyes, who works at Google. He mentions in their podcast (Google Search Off the Record) that title tags should be descriptive and concise.
Essentially, say the most with the least amount of words possible and avoid being wordy. Google’s title tag developer support page also states:
“Titles are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query.
Page titles should be descriptive and concise. Avoid vague descriptors like “Home” for your home page, or “Profile” for a specific person’s profile.
Also avoid unnecessarily long or verbose titles, which are likely to get truncated when they show up in the search results.”
He goes on to mention that the industry standards on title tag lengths were externally created and not Google’s recommendation. It’s safe to say that as long as your title tags are concise and accurately describe what your page is about, it’s ok to use more characters as needed. If your brand name pushes the character limit then it’s nothing to worry about. Seventy characters should be a soft limit when creating your tags.
Altogether, just be mindful of how your title tags may appear in SERPS and how they’ll influence clicks. If you need help with your SEO strategy we encourage you to get in contact with us today!