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Hub titles: short or Long

  1. CatherineGiordano profile image98
    CatherineGiordanoposted 2 years ago

    I've seen conflicting advice in the forums about the length of titles. Given that google is always changing how searches are done, I thought some advice might be outdated. Is it better to have short titles of 7 words or fewer or is it better to have "long-tailed" titles with more words for the search engine to "see"?

    1. Writer Fox profile image57
      Writer Foxposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      The rule is that Titles should be no more than 60 characters, including spaces, and less than that depending upon how many capital letters you use.  Other than that, you want to be careful about duplicating exact-match, long-tail keywords in the title due to the EMD Penalty.

      Other than those, there are no rules.  So much depends upon which keyword phrase(s) you are targeting with your Hub.  The best thing to do is go to Google and do a search for your keyword phrase(s) and see what titles your competition uses.  Take your cues from the high-ranking  webpage titles.

    2. RachaelOhalloran profile image78
      RachaelOhalloranposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      It is not the length of your title that is important, it is how important your title is to warrant being long - within HP's character limit. 

      If your title is keyword packed, it will rank high on Google (but HP might be miffed at the keyword overload). Secondly, your summary is key, so if your title doesn't grab the reader's attention, your last shot to draw the reader in is your summary.

      If your title is keyword (SEO) friendly, I say there is nothing wrong with having a long title - within HP's character limit. Writer Fox and others who are SEO savvy and more experienced at titling hubs (with proven traffic) may not agree with me.

      A long title "may be cut off" at the middle in search results returns and not give a clear picture of your subject matter. At this point, the reader has to rely on your good summary to decide if they want to read it.

      If your title is not keyword friendly, the longest title in the world won't help you get traffic, and especially if it is chock full of colorful adjectives or overuse of the words - "the" "and" "of" "my" "I.' 

      Google doesn't want pretty, or flowery or long titles. It just wants pretty GOOD titles.

      In my niche articles, I use the same intro words with a colon followed by my actual title. It makes it long, but I make my summary so provoking that readers want to click to read it.

      If my original preferred title is already taken on HP and if it has proven to rank high in Google search results, I'll have to add some intro words to be able to use that title on HP. In my case, I use themes to separate my hub categories. Of course, doing so makes it a longer title so my summary has to be stellar.

      What is important to Google is what Google sees to rank it.
      What is important to readers is 1) an attention getting title, and 2) how much info the reader is given in the summary for them to judge if they want to read the article or not. Your summary should be your ace in the hole in case your title doesn't rope them into clicking on title.

      1. aesta1 profile image81
        aesta1posted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I thought HP wants to follow what Google wants and keyword stuffing is a no-no in Google.

        1. CatherineGiordano profile image98
          CatherineGiordanoposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          I am not talking key word stuffing. I'm talking about getting one "keyword phrase" into the title.

        2. RachaelOhalloran profile image78
          RachaelOhalloranposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          What I said was: "If your title is keyword packed, it will rank high on Google (but HP might be miffed at the keyword overload)."

          My world does not revolve around HP. To write on HP, keyword packing is frowned on.  Keyword-specific titles are not the same as titles that are keyword packed.

          Other websites (blogs, etc.) do keyword pack and SEO target their subject matter. Google still ranks them high but probably more because of their choice of a unique subject and not their keyword overload.

          I like specific titles so readers know what the article is about and I try to put at least one keyword in the title to increase my ranking chances with Google. But I don't waste a lot of time on keywording my title. I want my title to say what my article is about and if one of the words in a title happens to be a recognized keyword, it was just luck because it fit in with what I wanted for a title.

          Not all writers don't do this next part, but I do.

          Immediately after I publish, I submit the URL to Google's search engine (then Bing and two others) - even before HP features the hub or they have the chance to QAP it.  Right after I hit PUBLISH, I always share it to my HubPages feed with the "H" button on the right column.

          Even if I change the content over the next few hours, I'll leave the title and summary alone because the article is already in Google. Within an hour, it appears in search results. 

          And as long as I don't fiddle with the title or summary, Google knows where my article is in order to bring me traffic (outside of HP).  And to me, that's all that counts.

        3. Marisa Wright profile image98
          Marisa Wrightposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Yes, keyword stuffing is a no-no in titles too, because keyword stuffing means repeating the same keywords.

      2. CatherineGiordano profile image98
        CatherineGiordanoposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I went on google and checked character length. I see that google cuts off at 60 characters. I also see some of my titles are longer than 60 characters, but there is enough title in the first 60 character to tell the reader what the post is about.  I think I do fairly good summaries, but I will review them all to make sure there are key words in them as well as the "tease" --the phrase that gets people to want to read more.  Question: Even if part of the title is cut off, does the cut off part still help with search? Also after the title is the summary the second most important thing in search.

        1. RachaelOhalloran profile image78
          RachaelOhalloranposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Your title - cut off or not - will come up in a search with all similar subject articles. Just because "we" can't "see" the whole URL or title doesn't mean Google can't see it or that they won't put it in the results for searches when people query that partcular subject matter.

          Yes, after your title, the summary is the second most important part because it is your second chance to draw in your reader, especially if they can't "see" your complete "unique" title in the search results.

    3. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image100
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I have read that the first three and last three words in a title are the most important and therefore 6 words is the optimum.  I always try to keep my titles at 56 characters or less, and that seems to work for me.

  2. profile image60
    AshimaTanposted 2 years ago

    Title should be one that clearly tells about your article in one sentence so that it gives the reader a choice to go ahead further or no.
    As far as the length of the title is concerned, keep it precise but it should definitely have the primary (and sometimes secondary)  keyword in your title.

  3. LindaSmith1 profile image60
    LindaSmith1posted 2 years ago

    It is not number of words, it is characters, 60 characters or less counting spaces. If title is too long, part of it will be cut off in the search engine.

  4. Writer Fox profile image57
    Writer Foxposted 2 years ago

    As many as 25% of Page Titles are changed algorithmically to display on Google's search engine results pages.  These changes may not keep just the first 60 characters (including spaces), but will pick and choose from all the words in your title..

    If you don't limit the size of your Title, you are loosing a unique opportunity to control what searchers see.

    As I mentioned above, the actual number of characters displayed depends upon how many capital letters you use in your title.  It also depends upon how much of your title is comprised of the target keyword phrase, which will be bolded.  See this for more information:
    http://moz.com/blog/new-title-tag-guide … eview-tool