So how long should your meta title tags actually be? If you look around the web you’ll hear anything from 60 – 80 characters. Some people claim Google uses a hard limit of around 70 characters for the title tags displayed in the search results, but none these numbers might actually be the limit.
If you’ve used Google recently, you might’ve noticed a pretty wide variety of title tags and descriptions being displayed. Often these results are fairly dependent on what keywords were used in the Google search. However, Google does a good job of offering the most relevant information to the user in the title line, even if it isn’t actually in the meta title tag.
What this means is that sometimes Google gives search results whose title lengths range anywhere from <20 characters to over 100! This led to a little investigation by several SEO specialists to see what the real cap on meta title tag length is. Clearly there were other factors contributing to the final search result.
The Title Length Test
To prove that you could indeed fit more than 70 characters into the search results, a phrase was created that might fit the bill. Using the phrase, “In thi till trill little litter fill! | Is it illicitly lil’ lilli! | If I fill ill jill I’ll frill thrill” in the Google search bar will reveal several results that prove you can have more than 70 characters as you can see in the picture above. So what does this mean for meta title tag length?
What was discovered is that there isn’t a hard cap on character length, rather, there’s a limit to the pixel length of your characters. You’ll notice in the example search phrase there are a lot of i’s and l’s, some of the narrowest characters in our alphabet. Because of this, you can fit well over 100 characters in the results, definitively proving that 70 is not the character limit. The actual pixel limit is ~466 px in length.
How Does Title Pixel Length Affect You?
- It simply means you can have titles longer than 70 characters. This gives you a little more flexibility when creating the perfect, eye-catching title for your blog post or website.
- In the end, Google’s search engine will ultimately decide what to put in the title line of the search results. If there is information that is more relevant to the search in your meta description, or in the body of your post/web page, that may be displayed instead of your title.
- Be sure to check out this great tool to measure your title’s pixel length. Relying solely on a character count may prevent you from creating the best meta title tag, and this tool will help you fine tune the length of your title.
These findings don’t really mean that the general rule of ~70 characters is necessarily a bad rule to live by, however. Because of the varying length of individual characters, 70 will almost always ensure that you are within the right pixel length. But if you want to fully optimize your title and take advantage of every last pixel, now you know Google’s limit.
Unsure about how to optimize your meta title tags and descriptions? Don’t know how metadata can help you? Leave your questions and comments in the box below!