Separating words in the title

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  1. LuisEGonzalez profile image86
    LuisEGonzalezposted 5 years ago

    OK, so this may be a dumb question but I really would like your opinion;
    When giving a hub its title which format (if any) is better? For example: "Portraits-Taking Better Shots"

    I wonder which is best to separate one part (words) of the title from another; a comma, a slash, the minus sign and so on or does this have any bearing on traffic, do Google, Bing, Yahoo... even care?

    I know that from a grammatical point of view the semi-colon could make sense but don't know if it is appropriate for websites.

    Your opinions will be greatly appreciated.

    1. Cardisa profile image92
      Cardisaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      It all depends. I use the vertical bar "|" to separate strong keywords if the title doesn't flow. Example One Pot Meals | Jamaican Seasoned Rice Recipe With Ackee. As you can see the title can be split in two with both titles working.

      For titles with one keyword but an extended description I use the colon. Example Gorgeous Korean Actors: Sexy Males On Screen. This only has one keyword but I needed a longer title description.

      If you are using the vertical bar you need a space before and after. If using the colon place it directly after your first phrase, then space, then complete the title. See examples above.

      1. brakel2 profile image79
        brakel2posted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Are semi colons not allowed? I have many titles with semi colons. Do I need to go back and change them?  We are always learning.

        1. Cardisa profile image92
          Cardisaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          I'm not sure. I don't use them because they make titles look like sentences to me.

          1. brakel2 profile image79
            brakel2posted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks Cardisa. You have so much knowledge, and I appreciate you.

            1. Cardisa profile image92
              Cardisaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              Most of what I impart is what I have picked up along the way...lol. Thanks smile

    2. lovebuglena profile image87
      lovebuglenaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I usually use a colon or a dash. Looks more professional as opposed to using a slash or the vertical line (whatever it's name is). No matter what you use though it won't appear in the url of the hub.

    3. Thief12 profile image90
      Thief12posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I typically use a colon, or maybe a dash.

  2. paradigmsearch profile image89
    paradigmsearchposted 5 years ago

    I even use the "~". Whatever you use, be sure there are spaces between it and the text, e.g., "Bananas ~ The Untold Story"

  3. janshares profile image96
    jansharesposted 5 years ago

    I've been trying to figure this out since day one on HP. I'm still not clear but I would look at how successful hubbers handled it and try what seems to work. I now use the slash (/) 99% of the time. I can't seem to figure out where the vertical slash is on the keyboard. As paradigmsearch says, the spaces between slash and text are important. It could affect SEO.

    1. RonElFran profile image98
      RonElFranposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      If you have a standard keyboard, the vertical slash [ | ] is the shift of the backslash [ \ ]. As far as I can tell, Google seems to ignore dashes and colons in a title.

      1. janshares profile image96
        jansharesposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks, RonElFran.

  4. relache profile image85
    relacheposted 5 years ago

    Whether or not to use colons : or dashes - or pipes | is massively debated in SEO.  And preferences seem to change from time to time.  Current wisdom seems to favor being consistent whichever you choose. 

    Using a tilde ~, which is a graphical sound indicator from Spanish and Portuguese, is not recommended in web page titles unless it's needed for the language.

    1. paradigmsearch profile image89
      paradigmsearchposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Hey, relache! Thanks!

      I've still got a few of those laying around. I'll get rid of them.

      Update:

      The good news. I booted out the remaining ones in my titles.

      The bad news. They are so darn purdy, that they have treacle'd into some of my H2 titles. Those are going to take awhile to find.

  5. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 5 years ago

    To separate title and subtitle I use a colon [ : ]

  6. rebekahELLE profile image88
    rebekahELLEposted 5 years ago

    With the example you have given, I would change the wording to make it answer a search query rather than separate the word 'portraits'.  If you do a google search for that specific title, you'll see what I mean.
    I think with more emphasis on mobile searches and the latest google Hummingbird, it makes sense to specifically state what the content is about, especially if it's a how-to hub.
    I haven't updated all of my titles, but I changed a few that I had separated like that.

  7. LuisEGonzalez profile image86
    LuisEGonzalezposted 5 years ago

    Did a search using: Portraits - Taking Better Shots. The top results all use the - to separate words.

    1. Jean Bakula profile image98
      Jean Bakulaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the question. It's one I've wondered about, but never think to ask until I'm ready to post. Then I am in a hurry to just get on with the work.

  8. Rochelle Frank profile image94
    Rochelle Frankposted 5 years ago

    I use colons occasionally-- but in the example you gave-- couldn't you just use "Taking Portraits" or "How to Take Better Portrait Shots"  ?

    1. LuisEGonzalez profile image86
      LuisEGonzalezposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      That was just a sample, not a real hub. I just wanted to gauge the response to what others thought would be a better choice.

      1. Cardisa profile image92
        Cardisaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Try not to use the delimiters if you can avoid them. The example you showed does not require separation. Rochelle is right about tightening up the title. The best titles are simple, easy to read and flow well. So minimize the use of separators if you can.

 
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