By now, you’ve probably either noticed or read in various SEO blog posts and trade articles that title tags in search engine results appear to be a little shorter as of mid-March. Google increased the font size to 18 pixels without increasing space, resulting in fewer characters displayed before truncating titles.
While title tag best practices long held 70 characters in length to be the threshold before titles were truncated, the larger font size now reduces that count to the 55- to 60-character range. But it’s not quite that simple. Google actually uses pixels, not character count in truncation. In fact, that didn’t change. Google also uses Arial, a font with thin and wide characters. Wider characters, capitalization and bold text will consume more title space than thin characters, thus the range. While you probably don’t bold text in title tags, Google does in results for content keywords and search query exact matches. So now, much of what you’ll read suggests limiting title tag width to fewer than 512 pixels—which translates into 55 to 60 viewable characters including spaces. (more…)