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Title tags and SEO for blogs

Darren Rowse has a wonderful post on title tags and SEO for blogs, Ain’t no way I am going to summarize it all, you need to read the whole post. It’s that good but here’s some highlights, if for no other reason than to teach myself by teaching you.

Title tags define the title of a page for search engines. Search engines index web content by page titles. You can see them in the source code of each page. The title is between these tags –

. In addition, and this is big, the words in your title tags establish the title given to your post in the search engine result’s pages.

Here’s the discussed blog title tag options for individual post pages, as opposed to title tags for blog’s main page and category archive pages.

  • Post Title | Blog Name – good because the keywords that you’re writing about will appear in your post’s title. Also is good for reemphasizing the blog’s name/brand. Downside is that the blog’s name can take something away from the SEO power of the title tags if it does not include words people search for.
  • Blog Name | Post Title – Darren’s seen it on newspapers and I do it myself for individual post pages. Like others, I do it because of the branding of ‘LexBlog Blog’ on the search engine results pages. On the downside they are not as well optimized as they could be for SEO because, at least for Google, the first words in your title tag carry more weight than the last words. Mine do very well though in getting my post to the top of the search engines for the post title.
  • Blog Name | Category | Post Title – Darren notes the BBC does it (they don’t need SEO). I’ve seen it as default on, I believe, TypePad. Advantage is that if category names are good, it adds other useful keywords into the title. On downside, it pushes the post title back further into the title tags.
  • Blog Name for all pages of blog – a fair amount of blogs foolishly do this. For SEO, depending on the title of your blog, there may be no keywords telling search engines that every page on their site is about the same thing no matter that posts vary in subject.
  • Post Title – Darren believes best for SEO perspective and does it himself. His reasoning is that every word in your title tag carries weight in determining what your page is about. Having his title ‘ProBlogger’ in the title tag of every post might help branding but from an SEO might water down the power of other keywords in his title tags.

Darren notes, and I agree, that SEO is not the only reason for title tags. You need to consider your brand, ease of users identifying your post subject when seeing your title tag in search engine results pages, and the length of the title which will be displayed by the search engines.

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