What SEO blogs say: “titles should be x amount of characters, and should contain a keyword”
What the Google guidelines say: “titles should be accurate and descriptive“
What you should actually do…
The role of a page title is to describe the page for users to decide if they want to read it. Most people think “I want everyone to like my title so I will make it enticing to the broadest range of people possible.”
You should not entice the most possible, you should entice the people who will enjoy your page or find your page helpful.
Doing otherwise is dumb. Really dumb.
Every single person who is reading this has clicked on a title like “How to do this or that in five minutes” and then have been disappointed by the article. Clicking on it was a waste of time. It sucked because you really wanted to do “this or that” in five minutes. Grrrrrrrr, you said. That sucked.
Enter Author rank
Everyone is talking about author rank. “It is a game changer” many have stated, but the same people who have said that have really really crappy, misleading, or as it is known in SEO circles “marketable” titles.
If you are enticing the wrong people to read your stuff, and your stuff isn’t pleasuring people you are screwed. Your name is screwed, your brand is screwed, and your rankings will be affected.
Go through your titles. Really do it.
Go through each one and decide if they are descriptive, accurate and enticing to the right people.
If you have enticing “clickable” titles, that lead to crappy or unuseful content, I will laugh at you and the way your rankings will begin to drop.
If you don’t review every title you have ever made, you are dumb, particularly if you are using Google authorship.
[white_box] Like this post? then you will love this… The hitchhikers guide to linkless SEO [/white_box]