The All Important Title Tag

If you are new to building web pages or a web site, don't overlook the importance of the page's <title> tag. (That's the part displayed in the blue bar when the page is opened in the browser. It's also displayed underlined in blue in search engine results pages and in bookmarks.) In the HTML code it sits in the <head> section as shown below.

<title>Mydepictions Ebay Art Listings Gallery</title>

I discovered the importance of this tag by happy accident with my first ever attempt at a web site. The site was pretty much unoptimized, did not have much written content, did not have any inbound links, and was not manually submitted to any search engines. (I should add the site was mainly a web-building exercise!) It was hosted on the free pages of AOL hometown, which was most likely the only way it was known to any search engine. However, with very little effort, one page ranked number one in AOL search results for a specific relevant search term. One of the main factors was the uniqueness of the search term, but another important factor that could be attributed to this result was the content of the <title> tag. The page title simply spelled out the content of the page, not a personal/company/organisation name, not a website name and, not homepage or index or that dreaded page number e.g. page04! (This is just a bad way to communicate with visitors and does nothing to convey the page's content.)

All search engines give great importance to the <title> tag. Each web page should have its own unique title, containing choice keywords relevant to that page's content. In fact, Google officially state that, among other things, you should

make sure each page has a unique title tag....that aptly describes the page.(Official Google Webmaster Central Blog 12/02/2007)

A widely recommended character length (inclusive of spaces) for the contents of the tag is about 60 characters. A long title will be cropped in the search engine results pages and bookmarks, for example. If you haven't already, and you can, do optimize your page titles, it may work wonders for your position in the search engine results pages! And you wouldn't want your webpage to appear like this lot of page04 's in the results pages either:

Read the W3 Recomendation on the title tag or google "title tag" for more information and discussion on this topic.

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