Does the Format of Your Title Tag Matter in SEO?

Jul 24, 2007 • 8:35 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

A WebmasterWorld thread asks if the format of a title tag matter much in terms of SEO?

Excluding your the keywords you are placing in the title tag, just thinking about the format of the keyword you put in that title tag, does it matter?


  • Red Widgets–Red Widget Supplier
  • Red Widget – Red Widget Supplier
  • Red Widget ¦ Red Widget Supplier
  • Red Widget : Red Widget Supplier

Now, everyone in the thread is in agreement that Google will ignore all those characters. So you can technically go with any version you like. It should not make a difference in terms of how well your page ranks in the search engine if you choose a : over a -. Note, this is not the URL formatting of the page, it is the title tag.

Now, the rest is a matter of personal preference and what you think may lead to a higher click through rate from the search results.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Hyphens & Underscores Are Now Treated Equally in


Eric Lander

07/24/2007 01:42 pm

We had this discussion at the office last week, and it proved interesting. One person here loves using the pipes (|) while I'm a bigger fan of a hyphen. In the end, we arrived at the same conclusion... the engines just don't take these into consideration. If they did... I'd be abusing them aggressively! :)

Michael Martinez

07/24/2007 03:33 pm

"Now, everyone in the thread is in agreement that Google will ignore all those characters." Not entirely correct, although the error in consensus is probably small enough that most people wouldn't care. But the consensus points out something interesting (at least with respect to that group of posters) regarding how much people play with Google's query operators.


07/25/2007 01:35 am

Barry and co, I'm not so sure it's the same for html-encoded entities; – vs a simple -, for example. One is 7 characters while the other is one. I agree, though, that a one-character separation would be treated equally across the board.

Amit Verma

07/25/2007 04:46 am

it doesn't matter if you are using symbols like -, !, |, etc. Matter is what your title is saying. It should be relevant and appealing to your visitors. thanks & regards, Amit Verma Sr. Strategist


02/25/2009 09:14 pm

I was wondering how this worked. I have been playing with different versions for a few weeks, i.e. "," "//" and "::". I have yet to see a really noticeable difference. From what I understand, though, the inbound links matter a heck of a lot more than the title.


03/27/2009 12:39 pm

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