Page titles should be long enough but not too long

There has been some debate over the length of page titles. The predominant search engine, Google, displays 60 characters but what happens if you go over the limit?

To test the theory I added some made up words to my contact page: www.aerin.co.uk/contact.htm. The words are: skriqgy, korziklr and qasdcvgyuh. Google has indexed the page and if you search for them they will show up in the results page. So far so good, but what does it prove?

What’s more important is the effect they have on my ranking for those words. It is well known that the page title is just about the most important ranking element on the page so in theory my contact page should come top of the list. A search for korziklr returns a number of results and my contact page isn’t even in the main index even though the word is in the page title.

I’ve added the word to a few more pages (but not the title) so it will be interesting to see how this develops.

My guess is that Google indexes the page title but because the word is outside the 66 character limit, its ranking effect will be negliable.

UPDATE

The word korziklr is firmly now in the index and a search revals that having the word outside the 60 charcter limit isn’t helping. The test page does get tagged onto this blog post but filter out the blog and the test page drops back down.

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