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Issue #115: Title Spaces

                    SearchReturn Discussion List
             "Understanding Internet Search Technology"
Moderator:                                          Published by:
Disa Johnson                                       SearchReturn
February 08, 2007                         SearchReturn Issue #115
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                   .....IN THIS DIGEST.....


// -- ESSENTIAL TIPS -- //


==> Title Spaces

Essentials:  There are some special spaces within the title that
we will examine next.  Webmaster T had an excellent post that
raised important issues very related to this series of tips.  He
noted that words may be weighted past 65 characters by as many as
10 words total.  This makes sense, and the take away is that
favoring the first 65 characters as a limit will optimize the

Also raised by Webmaster T is reference to the writing.  After
all, writing is what you do to populate titles, and the text is
paramount to your success both in terms of positioning and in
terms of getting the click.  To carry this point further, the
space where you want to spend considerable time crafting honing
your writing skills is in choosing the first three words.

The first three words are the ones that users will notice about
your listing.  If you look at the eye-tracking chart produced by
Enquiro, you will see where user's eyes fall on the results page.
The logic here is that regardless of whether a search engine algo
gives you credit for this or not, it is highly likely that these
words will be most resposible for you getting the click.


The other important point about these words with regards the
chart is a more elusive piece of logic found in the little spot
where the search field on the previous page resides.  Users eyes
are delayed a time after the query resulting in that spot, an
anomaly in the research.  This reinforces the point that search
engines know users are looking for the keywords they used in the
query and will increase the information scent with bold face to
provide a better query experience.

That alone is important as we described in the last installment.
If you also see what Enquiro calls the "golden triangle," you can
conclude that the first three words are by far most important
since they cover that hot spot area.  The three word tip can be
considered general advice, since four short words might also
cover the hot spot.  However, three words are important to your
process as you will see.

The process is one of writing.  Since you must obviously place
keywords to be effective, choose from your most important words
and try to think of a three word combo.  Back in year 2000, I
was showing this to James Gunn (now with IntraPromote).  He
called it the "power-combo," as useful descriptive.  Basically,
using three words as your guide, you should easily be able to
create a power combo from among the most important words. Simply
think of it as your title writing puzzle to solve.

The combo should consist of words that can be combined in as many
conceivable orders as possible, (hence combo), so that if they
are interchanged they still have value.  This technique takes
great advantage of the proximity measuring in the search engine
algo.  If by interchanging the words the phrases still makes
sense in all directions, even if dropping to a two-word search
phrase from positions 1 and 3, you concentrate the keywords in
the power position.

This tip can produce many positive things for well-written
listings, including extra ranking power, matching keywords for
information scent and even assistance by search engines that will
use bold face type.

The extra ranking power comes from two angles, the first being
that the power-combo is in the front of a tag that should get
more juice the closer to the front your words appear, and the
second angle being that when written purposefully it will strike
the right chord with the proximity part of the algo.  This
remains true even when search words and phrases are used
completely out of order.

Remember to deliberately target a combo that makes the best use
of the most important keywords however they are to be searched.
The matching keywords provide information scent for the user, and
if the best words are chosen, they should contain enough meaning
to qualify for their clicks.  This helps you benefit from the
rankings you achieve.

Finally, to assist the search process for the user, search
engines have been known to put extra weight on the first word,
(Altavista did that), and the first words still should get
special treatment for ranking.  They may apply a fall-off power
spectrum where the power makes it's way from the front to the
back of the title where the least power resides.  Even if Google
treats the first ten words identically, the other reasoning
behind this tip still works and consider that all search engines
like to differentiate from one another.

Stay Tuned.

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