About SEO > Title Tag Definition
The Title tag is the arguably the most important tag on your page as it is the content that shows up in Google’s organic results which is clicked on to send someone to the page. The Title tag’s content defines what the page is about and is the place where optimization is done in order to tell Google what the page should be about in very concise terms. Although there is no known limit to the amount of words you can place in a Title there is a limit to the amount of characters which will display in a Search Engine result. There a numerous methods for optimizing Title tags and a lot of it depends on the location of the page in the hierarchy of the site. The Homepage being the most important page of your website is topically a general page which is relevant to the overlying subject matter of your entire website.
For a site that focuses on a variety of topics it is important to define the most generally relevant topic and to include your most relevant keywords. For example; if a website sells “sports clothing” then they’ll likely optimize their homepage for the term “Sports Clothing” plus their brand name. Then as they drill down deeper into the website’s content they’ll begin optimizing more specifically to the categories and sub-categories within the site – all the way to the end product pages. Therefore the page about “Sports Shoes” would include that term. Some decide to include hierarchical structure in the Title tag (e.g. Sports Shoes | Sports Clothing by XYZ Company). Some prefer to only optimize for the specific page (e.g. Sports Shoes by XYZ Company). In either case you can use delimiters such as a colon (“:”) or a bar (“|”).
There are multiple ways to arrange the keywords in the Title tag and it is believed by SEOs that placing the target keywords first in the Title tag shows them to be more important to the page and assists with ranking the page higher for those terms. Duplicate Titles: Duplicating titles is a common error made by webmasters, sometimes being auto-generated by their website. Google notifies you of this in their Webmaster Tools” account which is free to sign-up for and is very useful.
It is important to focus your Title tag specifically to the subject matter of the page and not to have multiple Title tags optimized for the exact same term or phrase as this is called Keyword Cannibalization. Google reserves the right to change your Title tag to fit the specific query searched so you may find that your Title has been rewritten. This is not a bad thing as Google is taking elements of the page and putting them into the Title to customize it to the searcher’s intent. Here is a link to information on the Title tag at Google’s Webmaster’s Central Blog
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