5000+ character Title tag - Can you beat that?

Hi all,
Im in the process of re-designing a site for somebody, and after checking numerous searches for there profession both on Yahoo and Google in lots of different towns/cities, they seem to rank fairly highly, either page 1 or page 2 of google but this slightly differs on yahoo from page 2 to 4.

My question is this, the current “spammed” title tag has wait for it 5697 characters with spaces (4964 without spaces) (put it another way, 716 words), and somehow Google can still pick out words from this title tag, at the end of the list and still rank it highly…?

How is this as I understand that Google is supposed to cut off the title tag from 70 characters upwards, so must this case be a rare exception ?

Im not so unethical in my SEO practising so will be using the maximum of 70 characters, but does anyone else know a site that can trump this amount ?

I would suspect it is NOT picking them up from the title and are instead picking it up from the document body…

But I’d have to see the actual page in question… Can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone do that, though I’ve seen KEYWORDS meta’s that have pushed larger than the actual content inside BODY from people phrase stuffing; More fun when said stuffing has no redundancy to the body content making it ALL ignored.

As a rule of thumb though, I’ve found that words in the title work a bit like keywords in that regard – if they match to the body content, you’ll get a hair more juice out of it.

Of course, their high rankings could also just depend on the terms and the competition. Any moron can cherry pick the 'perfect search term" nobody else is even trying to optimize for and then claim they’re listed first in Google… There’s an old marketing concept called “non-competing competitors”, which is an aspect of “card stacking”… by saying you are beating sites or companies who aren’t even competing against you on a term, you can “game” the results to make your page look more successful than it is. This one nimrod I dealt with about a year or two ago was doing that bragging about his search results, when his photoshop plugin page was SHOCK outranking automotive websites for results… To put that in perspective that particular developer was using vertical breaks instead of comma’s in all his meta’s (because that works SO well on keywords), and had his keywords and description meta’s stuffed with the exact same content as his title tag and H1 and a hidden P.

Care to share a link, or would that be taking a leak on somebody’s toes? I’ve got the NASTY feeling I know what/who you are referring to.

Google cuts of the title at 70 characters on search results but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t use them!

Google shows 70 characters of the title you have used on your page in SERP, after 70 characters limit crossed the words are not displayed so if the search engines won’t rank you up, how you can how you can expect the traffic>
Please use the title of 70 characters & description of 156 character. Always try to co-relate the keywords in the title with description.

The implementation of Google’s title as most standard still applies on the current website

I think that Google just display 70 characters in SERP but they crawl all characters of your title.

Mein gott, someone using SERP in the PROPER context; instead of using the term to say WHERE you’re listed – and instead the proper use which means HOW it’s listed.

You know how many times I tell someone their SERP looks horrible and I get this bizarre confused look and/or response back? “We’re listed at #2, so our SERP is fine”… ARGH!

Your post gave me a new view on the SERP, maybe you could share a source for me to learn related with your first post. Many thanks for your sharing. Regards.

I wish we can see the source so we can analyse as to why this is possible.

Let’s start with the TITLE tag, and ask a simple question: What is it FOR? Best place to answer that is the HTML specification:

The global structure of an HTML document

… and I quote:

“The TITLE element is not considered part of the flow of text. It should be displayed, for example as the page header or window title. Exactly one title is required per document.”

Then look at what it is used for in practice: The window title in non-tabbed browsers or when a tab has the focus, and the tab title when working with tabs… and of course it’s used in the task bar, dock when hovered or other desktop management tools. It is read by screen readers before the actual content of the document, and is used by search engines as the text that goes inside the heading link of a SERP.

So that’s what it’s FOR – stuffing it with 5K of text doesn’t help to do that; you don’t see books with 5k titles, or newspaper names that are 5k long. Stuffing it full of 5k of garbage does not help the user identify what it is. PERIOD – so stuffing it probably falls into one of two categories; ignorance of what it is FOR, or another “black hat” SEO voodoo nonsense that either gets the element ignored (which if it has no on-page relevance could be a good thing) or gets the page slapped clear off the engine for abuse (the more likely result).

I compared it’s use to the keywords META, because repeating keywords in different parts of the page seems to increase the ranking for those words up to a certain point. You use the same word in the title, keywords and a couple paragraphs in the text, in my own personal experience you rank higher for those words.

But let’s look at the META tags:

The global structure of an HTML document

The information here is not as helpful, but this is because while the HTML specification defines the META tag, it does NOT define the valid values for NAME or CONTENT. This was done to allow third party vendors to make up their own additions providing information about the page. Though there is a link to section B.4 “Notes on helping search engines index your website”

Performance, Implementation, and Design Notes

Which has a keywords and description META example. You’ll notice it uses keyWORDS. That’s something that drives me nutters in many people’s code as they miss the point. It’s called “KEYWORDS” – not keyphrases, not keysentences, not keyparagraphs, and most certainly NOT keyLetsMakeACopyOfTheEntireBloodyDocument!!!

It is funny because it you research keywords deeper, you find that Google even claims they don’t obey them:
Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking

But in practice this seems to be total rot – My own results seem to show that it is OBEYED if you follow some simple rules; the WORDS in question also appear in your document BODY, you limit yourself to 8 words, you use SINGLE WORDS, and the entire thing ends up less than 128 bytes. I didn’t come up with that on my own, and it is reflected in many online SEO tools like the one at SEOWorkers.com

Free SEO Analysis Search Engine Optimization Tool - SEO Workers

Even though they too claim keywords is irrelevant, I’ve found there is a slight bit of ranking boost over using words that have relevancy to the page content; which is probably why that tool checks for relevance! I think reallly they list keywords as “not working” because if you stuff the hell out of it, it’s ignored; when really all they should have done is set limits on how it should be used; which in my own experience they did without really telling us.

See why I laugh when I see keywords meta’s like this:

content="realty in florida, florida realty, florida realty magazine, florida realtors, florida home, florida homes, florida housing, florida house, florida houses"

Search engines are usually smart enough to figure out plurals on their own, and one needs to think of keyworks like a word jumble – this is at the very least functionally identical, and at best would actually work BETTER since it’s unlikely to get ignored by the engines.

content="florida, realty, realtor, magazine, home, house, housing"

Especially if all those words are actually used in the body content! People wonder why their stuffing of the keywords gets it ignored? THERE IT IS!

… and I would be remiss in mentioning the description META. It too is claimed to be ignored by many search experts – and again given how people stuff the carp out of it this is hardly surprising. Even if it has no juice in terms of your page ranking, the description meta serves a very important purpose on your SERP… assuming there’s no odp entry for the site and/or you use the “noodp” robots meta, the description is uses to customize the text that should appear below the link to your site on the SERP. Google used to allow a full paragraph of around 256 bytes, but their newest incarnation cuts this too off at around 160 characters. Most search engines if they fail to find a description META will then fall-back on either the contents of the first P on the page, or any textnodes after the first heading tag.

Run your page through SEOWorkers free tool, and it will tell you all sorts of handy information like this, and it even had (had? Odd, they’re broken now) links to videos by Matt Cutts supporting the reasoning behind why their tool does what it says.

Ditto, ditto. As I said before I’m willing to bet with a giant stuffed title larger than the document body itself is on many sites it’s being ignored, and the real juice is coming from inside the BODY tag.

Which is where 99% of one’s on-page SEO efforts should be going in the first place! If the content of your page is manure, TITLE, META and any other trickery are all little more than polishing a turd.

Though without a link to the page in question, we’re all guessing blindly in the dark!