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SEO and the Title Tag
by Dave Felts


The Title Tag not only communicates the theme of your web page to the human visitors but is also considered very important by the Search Engine crawlers. The Title Tag is the most important of all Tags. Almost all crawler based search engines use the Title Tag to gather information about the page. Search engines use your Title Tag to evaluate the page's relevance to its content, inbound links, outbound links, alt tags, and a host of other factors. A carefully constructed Title Tag can have a large positive impact on your page's ranking with the search engines.

In addition, the Title Tag is the hyperlinked text title that is displayed in the search engine results page. This is the hyperlink a user clicks on to go to your web site. The Title Tag is also used as the text when you ‘bookmark' a page or add a certain web page to your ‘favorites' list in your browser.

Since the Title Tag plays a vital role in your site's ranking, you need to pay a lot of attention to the words that appear in the Title Tag and the order in which they appear. Put your important keywords at the beginning of the Title Tag. This can have the added benefit of making those words appear in bold in the search engines result pages. Develop a crisp Title Tag that includes your most relevant keyword phrases for that page. The keywords in the Title Tag are given a high value when it comes to the search engine trying to figure out what your page is about.

It's important to be highly focused. You should use the same keywords not just in your Title Tag, but also in your page content, Meta Description, and Meta Keywords Tags as well. If the keywords in your Title Tag don't appear in the page content, then avoid using them.

Specific Resources

From Google's Guidelines for Webmastershttp://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html

Design and Content Guidelines:

# Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
# Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the site map is larger than 100 or so links, you may want to break the site map into separate pages.
# Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
# Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
# Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn't recognize text contained in images.
# Make sure that your TITLE and ALT tags are descriptive and accurate.
# Check for broken links and correct HTML.
# If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a "?" character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few.
# Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100).

From MSN Webmaster Help

About your site description

As the MSN Search web crawler MSNBot crawls your site, it analyzes the content on indexed pages and generates keywords to associate with each page. Then MSNBot extracts page content that is highly relevant to the keywords (often sentence segments that contain keywords or information in the description meta tag) and constructs the site description displayed in search results. The page title and URL are also extracted and displayed in search results.

From Yahoo Search Help

Yahoo! Search ranks results according to their relevance to a particular query by analyzing the web page text, title and description accuracy as well as its source , associated links, and other unique document characteristics.

Comprehensive article by Jill Whalen From HighRankings.com

Read the complete article at: http://www.highrankings.com/allabouttitles.htm

What Is a Title Tag?

The title tag is one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine rankings.

A title tag is essentially an HTML code snippet that creates the words that appear in the top bar of your Web browser.

The title tag belongs in the section of your source code, and is generally followed by your Meta description and Meta keywords tags. The order of these tags is not critical, so don't worry if your HTML editor places them in a different position.

Some Web site design tools and content management systems (CMS) automatically generate the title tag from information you provide. You may have noticed Web pages that are labeled "Page 1," "Page 2," or "Home Page" in the browser title bar. You'll often see titles like these being used by beginning Web site designers who simply don't know how to use their software or their title tag for maximum benefit.

About the Author
Dave is a full-time Search Engine Marketing Manager. He also runs SyteSurge, a web site dedicated to search engine optimization and search engine marketing.