Content and Length of title

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Amandil, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Amandil

    Amandil Guest

    Hi, all.

    First of all, if I posted this question to the wrong group, and there
    is a newgroup better suited to answer my question, please let me know
    politely. I don't intend to be OT.

    The Guidelines at w3.org (http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/TITLE.html)
    suggest that the title tag be no longer than 64 characters. At my
    job, I was recently tasked to play around with the page title, making
    sure (for SEO purposes) that it is no longer than 65 characters.

    Whatever the length, I'm trying to figure out if this limit is 64
    physical characters or 64 visible characters. In other words, if I
    stick the & HTML entity into the title, is that counted as 1
    character or 5 characters. (Asking my manager would not answer my
    question (besides, he doesn't know either): I'm referring to the W3
    guideline of 64 characters.)

    I've searched a bit over the last day or so, and could not find this
    detail specified. Google Webmaster was no help either. I'm leaning
    towards an entity being counted as a single character as far as SEO
    (i.e. Google Search) is concerned, but any proof one way or the other
    would be immensely helpful and appreciated.

    Thanks.

    --
    Nachy
     
    Amandil, Apr 23, 2012
    #1
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  2. Amandil

    dorayme Guest

    In article
    <>,
    Amandil <> wrote:

    > Hi, all.
    >
    > First of all, if I posted this question to the wrong group, and there
    > is a newgroup better suited to answer my question, please let me know
    > politely. I don't intend to be OT.
    >
    > The Guidelines at w3.org (http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/TITLE.html)
    > suggest that the title tag be no longer than 64 characters. At my
    > job, I was recently tasked to play around with the page title, making
    > sure (for SEO purposes) that it is no longer than 65 characters.
    >
    > Whatever the length, I'm trying to figure out if this limit is 64
    > physical characters or 64 visible characters. In other words, if I
    > stick the &amp; HTML entity into the title, is that counted as 1
    > character or 5 characters. (Asking my manager would not answer my
    > question (besides, he doesn't know either): I'm referring to the W3
    > guideline of 64 characters.)
    >
    > I've searched a bit over the last day or so, and could not find this
    > detail specified. Google Webmaster was no help either. I'm leaning
    > towards an entity being counted as a single character as far as SEO
    > (i.e. Google Search) is concerned, but any proof one way or the other
    > would be immensely helpful and appreciated.
    >


    The title, by and large, is to display in the top bar or in the tab of
    a browser, the recommendation is about a sensible limit (their word
    "ideal" is not used precisely as sometimes is a scientific term).
    Count the spaces, or don't count the spaces, it does not matter unless
    you really *force* more than one space - can't be done with space bar
    presses and have any effect in display of Title in the browser but if
    you really put in other white spacing characters, like the one you
    mentioned, you really should count them (who knows how many you might
    put in!).

    Go ahead and count them to be conservative and to force a discipline
    on yourself!

    The Guidelines are not the word of God, think of this recommendation
    with plain common sense, what is displayed will differ according to
    the user, the title at the top of the bar is less prone to truncation
    than in the tighter real estate in a tab. The truncation in a tab is
    sometimes an end cut off whereas in the bar at the top, often
    truncation with dots replace the middle bit. It is dynamic and depends
    on the window size and in all of this, not even God Himself could say
    what the limit should be to the exact precision of including spaces.

    --
    dorayme
     
    dorayme, Apr 23, 2012
    #2
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  3. 2012-04-23 23:43, Amandil wrote:

    > The Guidelines at w3.org (http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/TITLE.html)
    > suggest that the title tag be no longer than 64 characters.


    Technically, it says that the title element content should be less than
    64 characters, i.e. at most 63 characters. But it's a rough rule of
    thumb anyway. There is no formal limit, and the practical limitations
    vary greatly.

    In these modern times, browsers tend to display the title in a tab
    rather than browser top bar. And the tabs are typically just about 30
    characters wide, and their width varies by the browser window width and
    the number of open tabs.

    > At my
    > job, I was recently tasked to play around with the page title, making
    > sure (for SEO purposes) that it is no longer than 65 characters.


    There's a lot of nonsense that people do, and require others to do, in
    the name of SEO, without bothering about provable facts or even
    plausible hypotheses.

    Certainly title elements are important from the search engine
    perspective, quite possible more important than any other element.
    Surely it makes no sense to write a novel there, even from that
    perspective. But much more often, problems are causes by too short title
    texts, e.g. using the very same title element across a site
    (unbelievable, isn't it? but quite common!).

    It is hardly realistic to expect search engines to have any hard limits
    on title texts. Rather, we can expect them to treat title elements well
    if they are reasonably long, possibly ignoring the tail if the text is
    very long (say, over 80 or 100 characters), possibly even getting
    nastier if they suspect "title spamming" and see very, very long texts
    with repeated words.

    So the simple rule is: as long as necessary, but not longer. And
    "necessary" means "necessary for concisely describing what the page is
    about, without any context" (or, as they often say, "in the global
    context"). That is, if somebody, or something, finds the text on a sheet
    of paper with no other content and with no indication of where the text
    comes from, he or it should get a reasonable idea of what it is.

    Thus, it should not be "Main page", "Contact info", "Offers", or "Our
    coolest products that are highly affordable, competitive, and
    proactive!" If it contains abbreviations, they should be roughly as
    known as, or better known than, "USA" or "CNN".

    > Whatever the length, I'm trying to figure out if this limit is 64
    > physical characters or 64 visible characters.


    The old guideline that you cited refers to the display of the title
    element in various context, so it relates to displayed characters
    (counting spaces).

    > In other words, if I
    > stick the &amp; HTML entity into the title, is that counted as 1
    > character or 5 characters.


    Definitely one character, because browsers and search engines interpret
    entity references before doing anything else with the textual content.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Apr 24, 2012
    #3
  4. On Mon, 23 Apr 2012, Amandil wrote:

    > if I stick the &amp; HTML entity into the title,


    The ampersand character (&) may be missing in MS Windows because
    this character is used to define keyboard shortcuts. For example:
    The title of a page is shown as a pop-up over the Back and Forward
    arrows in Internet Explorer. The ampersand (&) is not shown here.
     
    Andreas Prilop, Apr 24, 2012
    #4
  5. 2012-04-24 19:45, Andreas Prilop wrote:

    > On Mon, 23 Apr 2012, Amandil wrote:
    >
    >> if I stick the&amp; HTML entity into the title,

    >
    > The ampersand character (&) may be missing in MS Windows because
    > this character is used to define keyboard shortcuts. For example:
    > The title of a page is shown as a pop-up over the Back and Forward
    > arrows in Internet Explorer. The ampersand (&) is not shown here.


    So are you saying that if I have <title>foo&amp;bar</title> on my page,
    and a visitor follows a link on my page, then mouses over the "Back"
    button, he does *not* see "foo&bar" but something else, like "foobar"?
    On IE, that is.

    Seriously, this is 2012! They had the bug over 15 years ago, *surely*
    they have fixed it by now. At least in IE 9 in "standards mode"!

    You must be kidding! They make gazillions of dollars every year, so they
    must know what they are doing!

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Apr 24, 2012
    #5
  6. Amandil

    Neil Gould Guest

    Andreas Prilop wrote:
    > On Mon, 23 Apr 2012, Amandil wrote:
    >
    >> if I stick the &amp; HTML entity into the title,

    >
    > The ampersand character (&) may be missing in MS Windows because
    > this character is used to define keyboard shortcuts. For example:
    > The title of a page is shown as a pop-up over the Back and Forward
    > arrows in Internet Explorer. The ampersand (&) is not shown here.
    >

    What version of IE? The &amp; does show up title bars in IE6 - 8...

    --
    best regards,

    Neil
     
    Neil Gould, Apr 24, 2012
    #6
  7. Amandil

    Neil Gould Guest

    Ed Mullen wrote:
    > Neil Gould wrote:
    >> Andreas Prilop wrote:
    >>> On Mon, 23 Apr 2012, Amandil wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> if I stick the&amp; HTML entity into the title,
    >>>
    >>> The ampersand character (&) may be missing in MS Windows because
    >>> this character is used to define keyboard shortcuts. For example:
    >>> The title of a page is shown as a pop-up over the Back and Forward
    >>> arrows in Internet Explorer. The ampersand (&) is not shown here.
    >>>

    >> What version of IE? The&amp; does show up title bars in IE6 - 8...
    >>

    >
    > http://edmullen.net/temp.php
    >
    > the title is <title>temp &amp; temp</title>
    >
    > IE 9 displays "temp & temp" in the page's tab but not the window
    > title bar.
    >
    > Now go to a different page. Now hover the mouse cursor of the Back
    > button. IE 9 displays "temp temp" in the pop-up.
    >

    So... your answer is "IE 9". But it works as expected in earlier versions of
    IE. Perhaps it's a bug?

    --
    best regards,

    Neil
     
    Neil Gould, Apr 24, 2012
    #7
  8. Amandil

    Neil Gould Guest

    Hi Ed,

    Ed Mullen wrote:
    > Neil Gould wrote:
    >>>>>
    >>>> What version of IE? The&amp; does show up title bars in IE6 - 8...
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>> http://edmullen.net/temp.php
    >>>
    >>> the title is<title>temp&amp; temp</title>
    >>>
    >>> IE 9 displays "temp& temp" in the page's tab but not the window
    >>> title bar.
    >>>
    >>> Now go to a different page. Now hover the mouse cursor of the Back
    >>> button. IE 9 displays "temp temp" in the pop-up.
    >>>

    >> So... your answer is "IE 9". But it works as expected in earlier
    >> versions of IE. Perhaps it's a bug?
    >>

    >
    > I was simply commenting on what IE9 does regarding this issue. I have
    > no idea what earlier versions do. Hmmm. Wait, lemme check ...
    >
    > Windows XP system, fully updated, IE8, yep, does the same thing.
    >

    Hmm. I just re-checked your page with IE8 / Vista, and the " & " works
    correctly on both the header and the tabs. Could something else be going on?

    --
    best regards,

    Neil
     
    Neil Gould, Apr 25, 2012
    #8
  9. Neil Gould wrote:
    > Hi Ed,
    >
    > Ed Mullen wrote:
    >> Neil Gould wrote:
    >>>>>>
    >>>>> What version of IE? The&amp; does show up title bars in IE6 - 8...
    >>>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> http://edmullen.net/temp.php
    >>>>
    >>>> the title is<title>temp&amp; temp</title>
    >>>>
    >>>> IE 9 displays "temp& temp" in the page's tab but not the window
    >>>> title bar.
    >>>>
    >>>> Now go to a different page. Now hover the mouse cursor of the Back
    >>>> button. IE 9 displays "temp temp" in the pop-up.
    >>>>
    >>> So... your answer is "IE 9". But it works as expected in earlier
    >>> versions of IE. Perhaps it's a bug?
    >>>

    >>
    >> I was simply commenting on what IE9 does regarding this issue. I have
    >> no idea what earlier versions do. Hmmm. Wait, lemme check ...
    >>
    >> Windows XP system, fully updated, IE8, yep, does the same thing.
    >>

    > Hmm. I just re-checked your page with IE8 / Vista, and the "& " works
    > correctly on both the header and the tabs. Could something else be going on?
    >


    Checked in IE6 with a VirtualBox XP install and "Temp & Temp" is in both
    window title and back button tooltip. But IE9 "Temp Temp" in the back
    button tooltip. This would not be the first time MS introduced *new*
    bugs with a new version of IE.

    --
    Take care,

    Jonathan
    -------------------
    LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
    http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
     
    Jonathan N. Little, Apr 25, 2012
    #9
  10. Amandil

    Neil Gould Guest

    Jonathan N. Little wrote:
    > Neil Gould wrote:
    >> Ed Mullen wrote:
    >>> I was simply commenting on what IE9 does regarding this issue. I
    >>> have no idea what earlier versions do. Hmmm. Wait, lemme check ...
    >>>
    >>> Windows XP system, fully updated, IE8, yep, does the same thing.
    >>>

    >> Hmm. I just re-checked your page with IE8 / Vista, and the "& "
    >> works correctly on both the header and the tabs. Could something
    >> else be going on?
    >>

    >
    > Checked in IE6 with a VirtualBox XP install and "Temp & Temp" is in
    > both window title and back button tooltip. But IE9 "Temp Temp" in
    > the back button tooltip. This would not be the first time MS
    > introduced *new* bugs with a new version of IE.
    >

    Agreed.

    --
    best regards,

    Neil
     
    Neil Gould, Apr 25, 2012
    #10
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