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Create Good Title Tags
Jun 11, 2004

Good title tags: It's worth doing all the search engine optimization (SEO) you can to improve your page ranking, and one step you should not leave out is optimizing your title tags. Keep reading for some useful tips on how to create good title tags.

What Is a Title Tag?

In the head section of each web page is a place for several types of tags. A title tag is one such element, mandated to be in the head section by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). Besides being a required element, W3C opines that the title tags should be "context rich," which means that they clearly and fully describe the page content, placing the page topic in context.

The form of a title tag is defined as follows:


and it appears in the head, making for the following:


All you do is replace the content place holder, which with a title that is unique to the page, preserving all the other bits exactly as they are shown.
What Does a Title Tag Do?

A title tag does different things depending on whose looking. A title tag is used for information provided to two audiences: spiders and web users

 How Title Tags Work for Spiders

The spiders that collect data for search engines include the title tag data along with links and visible text to create the main three elements that will determine your page's rank. Spiders are specially tuned to keywords in the title tags and elsewhere.

 How Title Tags Work for Web Users

There are six different situations in which people see the information in your title tag manifested:

• Directory employees or volunteers see your title tag as they consider whether to list your site after you apply. Keep in mind that the title tag is one of the main pieces of information on which they base their judgment.

• Webmasters see your title tag when they set up a link to your page.

• Searchers who do a keyword search and end up on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) will see your title, in among all the other results for their search. Your title tag will be this article has all rights reserved and is copyright by 100 Best competing for attention will all of your competitors (if you're a business), so you'll want to make it work in that company.

• Visitors to your site using most browsers will see the title from your title tag displayed at the top of the window. This is one reason it's good to distinguish the different pages of your site in the title tag.

• A visitor who has several windows tabbed—to, for example, do a product comparison—will see the initial letters of your title tag on the tab, so you'll want to make sure it will work to distinguish you in that situation. 

• A visitor who bookmarks your site, will see your title as the default bookmark title.

White Hat Title Tags

White hat SEO techniques follow search engine guidelines for title tags. These are guidelines that fit those standards and result in quality title tags:

• Unless there's an extraordinary reason not to, write in phrases not sentences.

• Use title case, not sentence capitalization.

• Make sure the title tag matches the page content.

• Identify the site (by organization or individual name, as appropriate).

• Include keywords. Experts differ on where they should be placed. Keep in mind the human uses listed above in making your decision.

• Research your keywords using a keyword selector to help insure good choices.

• Create a unique title tag for each of your pages.

•  W3C recommends that titles be less than 64 characters. Google has a 66 character limit and drops the entire last word if it crosses this boundary. Yahoo! has a 120 character limit, and simply cuts off after the last character that fits.

• Research keyword phrases before deciding which ones to include. Check a keyword selector for help.

• Avoid title tag stuffing, the black hat practice of  piling a single title tag with loads of keywords and ignoring human uses of title tags.

• Avoid title tag stacking, the black hat practice of using multiple title tags stacked on top of each other in the head section.

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