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jump to last post 1-5 of 5 discussions (18 posts)

Are parentheses forbidden in titles?

  1. DrMark1961 profile image99
    DrMark1961posted 8 weeks ago

    Last night I went through several of my articles and added parentheses to some material in the title so that I could see the response in traffic. The parentheses were removed by HP editing and replaced with a dash. Why?
    example: My Dog Was Hit by a Car (So What Happens Next?)
    was replaced by My Dog Was Hit by a Car—So What Happens Next?

    1. HoneyBB profile image98
      HoneyBBposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      I think it also causes problems on Googles end or any other search engine...most of those signs are not good to use in titles.

      1. lobobrandon profile image91
        lobobrandonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        On the contrary, John Mueller from Google once said that it's not a problem and many top sites use it. And it does increase CTR when used right. Because your title stands out and even if it is on the 3rd spot people who usually only click the first result tend to take notice.

  2. lobobrandon profile image91
    lobobrandonposted 8 weeks ago

    Because it does not make sense to include parenthesis here. A hyphen does make more sense.

    1. DrMark1961 profile image99
      DrMark1961posted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      That is very subjective. My Dog Was Hit By a Car. Period. End of sentence. Next sentence is What happens next?

      1. lobobrandon profile image91
        lobobrandonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        Exactly it's more like next sentence. It can stand on its own. If it stands on its own, I would personally not put it into parenthesis. Yes, it's subjective. But based on my experience writing meta titles for my own sites and clients sites this is what I do for the best CTR.

        My tomato hub that you saw yesterday, could also use a hyphen instead. But for some reason, it was accepted.

    2. DrMark1961 profile image99
      DrMark1961posted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      What do you think of (5 things that happen next)?

      1. lobobrandon profile image91
        lobobrandonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        I would go with a hyphen again. But that's my personal choice.

  3. lobobrandon profile image91
    lobobrandonposted 8 weeks ago

    I think this would make sense:

    Why Does My Dog Have Swollen Elbows (My Home Remedies)

    Not sure if it is the best keywords or if you are losing a long tail, but the parenthesis here could be accepted. Parenthesis does not look good on the title to be honest, so only use it when you really think it is necessary. The increased CTR can be achieved by just making your title stand out. You can do this by answering the searchers query directly.

    i would personally change this to (again not sure about the keywords):

    My Dog Was Hit by a Car - Here's What You Must Do

    I would personally click this title rather than My Dog Was Hit by a Car (So What Happens Next?) because with my title I am sure that I am getting help. With your title I could expect that you say the dog suffers and could possibly die, etc. It does not tell me with 100% certainty that this page is indeed going to help me.

    1. DrMark1961 profile image99
      DrMark1961posted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      That makes a lot of sense, thanks.

      1. lobobrandon profile image91
        lobobrandonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        You're welcome. You should keep experimenting with titles. Unfortunately, we don't have webmaster tools on this to keep track of CTR, but from traffic volumes, we can kind of make a judgment call.

  4. eugbug profile image98
    eugbugposted 8 weeks ago

    Using non alphanumeric characters could possibly cause problems (delimiter collision), although there's usually a reserved set of characters that are used as delimiters (e.g. forward and back slashes). They're probably trying to avoid something like that happening.

  5. Glenn Stok profile image97
    Glenn Stokposted 8 weeks ago

    Here is a useful article I found. See item 34 about parenthesis:

    https://northcutt.com/seo/53-enlighteni … itle-tags/

    In my opinion, if the text within parenthesis is a subtitle to the title, then it makes sense. Otherwise using a hyphen or "em dash" would be better.

    DrMark, your first post has a good example of this. "My Dog Was Hit by a Car (So What Happens Next?)"  The part in parenthesis is not a subtitle, so it doesn't work well in parenthesis. 

    Brandon, the example you gave shows the other case. "Why Does My Dog Have Swollen Elbows (My Home Remedies)"  The part in parenthesis is indeed a subtitle, so it works.

    1. lobobrandon profile image91
      lobobrandonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      This makes things a lot easier. Thanks, Glenn.

      1. Glenn Stok profile image97
        Glenn Stokposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        You're welcome. smile

    2. DrMark1961 profile image99
      DrMark1961posted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      That is a great link, but it does contradict another that I read yesterday. I want to see how parentheses perform on my own pages.
      The comment about adding (video) was interesting. Do you feel something similar might help traffic here? Adding (Text, photos,and video) for example.

      1. Glenn Stok profile image97
        Glenn Stokposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        You're asking me for my opinion, which may or may not be correct. Nevertheless, in my opinion, I can only repeat what I said before—that parenthesis are useful for subtitles. I don't see (video) as a subtitle, per sé.

        Having said that, I wouldn't rule it out either. It's worth experimenting with it. But I remember doing that myself a long time ago for a hub that had a YouTube video in it. I included (embedded video) in my title and one of the HP editors removed it.

        1. lobobrandon profile image91
          lobobrandonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

          Yup, HP want's magazine style work, in a sense they want high-quality work. Putting video in the title makes it look spammy in my opinion.

 
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