How The New Google Interface Has Changed SEO For Titles?

You might have noticed the recent changes in the Google Search Engine Result Pages user-interface. While being subtle and discreet, some of these changes could have a profound impact on SEO. The titles, for example, have had a bit of an overhaul, and are now more unpredictable than ever. The onset of these new development could change the way we do SEO. Here's how the SEO for title tags has changed.

What has changed?

Generally, Google has increased the text size for titles in SERPs while keeping the same-sized div for showing results. This means that there's lesser room now, and a title that used to fit in search results before might not continue doing so. This means that the older guidelines for writing optimized titles might not apply, not all of them anyway.

Google now uses an 18 pixel Ariel font on a 512 pixel wide div. Ariel, as some of you might know, is a proportionally spaced. This means that different characters have different widths. And since it is more about the width now as it is about character limit, various titles can have varying limits. Here are some factors to weigh in now.

Narrow letters and CAPS

Since characters in Ariel take up varying space, characters like i's and l's are a lot more space-friendly than other characters like D's, M's, W's etc. A single M takes up more space than three lowercase l's, which means it's probably time to look for space-saving synonyms in your titles.

The same goes for CAPS. Capital letters take up more space than lowercase ones, so it is better to avoid them. Frankly speaking, I don't see why you would want to use CAPS (unless for the name of a company or product). They are hard to read and 'noisy'. They don't look natural, so better avoid them in your titles.

Varied queries

Google will highlight search query keywords by bolding them. Bolded characters take up more space, so a long query that matches with the title might possibly push it over. So, even if you found a title that just squeezed into the width limit, the actual display of that title would change depending on the keywords searchers use to find it.

Cut-off point

Google cuts off titles with CSS, appending a "..." at the end of a title to truncate it. This takes up valuable space too. So, a title that's just slightly too long and gets cut will actually be shorter than a title that barely squeaks in under the width limit, due to the additional space required by "...". However, it might be better for you to stay strictly under the limit than go overboard by a few characters.

There might, however, be an advantage to getting your titles truncated. I might be way off, but having a "..." might give you slightly more clicks. Again, I am not sure, and would like your opinion in the comments section below.

The ideal limit

Due to the many factors that weigh in, a character limit can not be established as the truncation is done by CSS now. Some titles around 50 characters might get truncated, while some upto 60-62 might survive. According to a study by Moz, The ideal peak is at around 57.7 characters (57-58). This might be the maximum safe limit, but not a recommended one. The study further shows that only one in twenty titles of 55 characters will get truncated, whereas one in ten titles of 56 characters will get truncated. This ration rises to 1:5 for titles with 57 characters.

Hence, in our opinion, 55 is an agreeable limit. What do you guys think? Leave your opinions in the comments section below.

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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. Thanks man, you always come with real cool info which can be used optimally and with actionable intelligence.


  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. All this information is new for me and next I will take care of them in my upcoming posts .
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  6. Asslam o Alikum Qasim Bhai..

    I realy Thank full to you for this good and help full and news article. Thankx to sharing with us

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  7. Yes, you're absolutely right Qusim. Titles with less than 55 characters are best to optimize latest Google search.

  8. The Latest Google Search Page looks like the another search engine Google seems to followed the structure and design for search page from this

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  10. very good and informative post for me, thanks for sharing this important update.
    My Site

  11. Thankfully the new interface hasn't reduced the number of results on page one, but it has reduced the number above the fold... Personally I don't like the new look as it feels like some of the prominence has gone from the page titles. Laura @ Ricemedia SEO

  12. Thanks for your info... i like your site...
    Best Regards,
    Pakar Seo

  13. Hi Qasim..

    Some recent google changes sizable difference especially in terms of SEO.
    I agree, the limit of 55 characters is best. thanks for sharing.

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  14. I must admit that this is one great insight. It surely gives a company the opportunity to get in on the ground floor and really take part in creating something special and tailored to their needs.
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  15. Nice info...
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  17. is amazing post

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