Will an increase in page title length allow you to reach more of your audience?

Do you always have more to say?

Perhaps you are reading this thinking ‘about time’? Now you may be able to say more of what your page is trying to communicate (and thus reach more of your target audience) now extra characters are at your disposal.

So, what is this all about?

It has been reported that Google have taken the decision to increase the length of page titles. A study has found that average length has gone up from 55 characters to around 83 meaning more words can be achieved. You may remember that Meta description length was also adjusted some time ago, so this would seem the logical step to follow with looking at page titles also.

Before you get too excited hold up, because this could be a temporary change or actually end up a much smaller than it actually looks right now. When the Meta change happened in December 2017 the amount of characters went up and everyone thought that was here to stay, only to find that the amount had diminished a few months later. It is perfectly plausible that this could happen again to title length, or that this could be just an experiment, so it far too soon to say whether this will be here to stay.

One question you may be thinking about is whether you should now update all your title tags in preparation for this change, as it is always best to stay one step ahead. That is normally true, but on this occasion and given what has happened in a very similar situation, we would advise against going ahead and making major changes at the moment because of the uncertainty. What also adds to us giving this precautionary piece of advice is at the time or writing, Google has yet to officially acknowledge this change, or give any indication of where it might be heading.

When the same thing happened with the Meta tag changes people who did not update their tags to a longer length found that Google automatically extended them in some cases based on relevancy to users search results, so until anything is firmly known you may just be wasting your time anyway. Seemingly it could either be done for you in an automatic way, or ‘overridden’ by Google anyway.

Only time will tell whether the change is here to stay, but we are sure many would welcome an increase in the title length as it would lead to webmasters becoming less restricted about what they can say. Notwithstanding the fact that a title is merely just that ‘a title’ it can sometimes be difficult to explain what a page is in such a short and constrained way. Perhaps a change in this way would be good for all:

For the Webmaster) They can appeal more to their audience with greater detail.

For the Searcher) They could have a clearer idea about the content on the page.

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