Steps to Consider if your Site’s Title is Truncated Often

The other day I was answering at Google’s Webmaster Forum and a certain problem caught my attention. A webmaster complained that his site’s title is being truncated too often. First, it was with the advent of Panda and then later it was with Penguin. Later the title was shortened with Penguin being refreshed. The worst part is that the rankings dropped whenever the title was truncated. I presume most bloggers or webmaster face the same problem. In this post, I have thrown light on some ways to reduce the odds of your title being truncated.

There are some 68 or 70 characters for Titles:

A title is not a place for description. I would say that title should be short, precise and yet informative. Only the writer can decide the best title. If you create title, which runs long, then it is possible that search engines will truncate it to fit within the SERPs. Moreover, Google runs AdWords ads to the right of SERPs therefore your long title will be cut short to accommodate the little space available.

Now you can argue that though the title is within the character limit it is being shortened. Well, that is a reasonable argument. There are two main reasons why it happens though the title is within character limit:

Not all Key phrases are present in the Meta description:

Through Meta description, search engines find the theme of your site or page. It is through this Meta description that users know your site’s/pages’ theme. If the key phrases of your title is not included in the Meta description search engines might consider them unimportant. For instance, let us consider a title ‘Delicious Chicken Recipe – Find Mouth Watering Recipes’. Keywords after the hyphen are just supplementary to the title. You are not going to add it to the Meta description. Obviously, the particular part will be cut short by search engines.

Therefore, if you find the second half of title being removed, try adding it in the Meta description.

Only Important Keyword Matters:

Take the same example as above. The second half ‘Find Mouth Watering Recipes’ implies no importance. Google and any other search engine for that matter, will remove it. Moreover, it is separated by hyphen, which further states that the part after the hyphen is supplementary. Therefore, if you are separating through hyphen then ensure the following word is a keyword, not any common word that can be polished off.

Generally, the shortening of title takes place when a hyphen is present. If you find the truncating annoying then consider rewriting your title without any hyphen. On the other hand, if hyphen cannot be excluded then ensure it is followed by important keyword and included within the Meta description.

To sum up, the idea is to make Google understand that every word in your title is important. Consider the above steps and it will never be shortened. Hope this short post helped you in saving your site’s title from being cut short.


John is the Editor of and often writes on topics like wordpress developers, and outsource web development. He is also a passionate about SEO and Social Media.