There are a lot of things that go into a good title tag and we are going to discuss a very important aspect, the length of a title tag.  If you are optimizing your title tags for Search Engines, then you need to know the following information:

Google will display the first 66 characters of a title tag and no more.  If your title tag is longer then 66 characters, Google will end your title on the last word before the 66 character limit is reached.  It will not cut-off in the middle of a word.

Yahoo will display up to exactly 120 characters and will cut off in the middle of a word.

Most people write a 66 character or less title tag and call it a day, however, there is another option.  Write a title tag that works at 66 characters and 120 characters (or less).  That way, when your page gets indexed by Google, your title tag will make sense and when it gets indexed by Yahoo, it will also make sense.  Best of both worlds.

Don’t forget that your title tag should be keyword rich and make sense to the person viewing your website, and not just the search engines that crawl it.  Search Engines are smart, and there is a good chance they can figure out when content has been written specifically for them, and when content is keyword rich but still human readable.

You should also take into consideration how your title tag will look when displayed in the browser.  Each browser is different, and with the advent of tabbed browsing, how much of the title tag is shown can be dependent on how many tabs the user has open.  Experiment with the different browsers and make sure that users can tell that it’s your website at a glance, no matter what browser they are using or how many tabs they have open.

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