I have noticed a few oddities recently with the titles of web pages in search engine results pages (SERPs). I started using some special characters in my page titles in order to make them look slightly more appealing in SERPs and perhaps stand out a bit more:
‘Item name’ widget • Site Name (( Item name )) widget • Site Name
- In Google and Yahoo, the curly quotes (8216/8217) are converted to straight quotes.
- In Bing and Yahoo, all special characters at the front of the title are removed, i.e. the above shows as
Item name’ ...etcor
Item name )) ...etc
The bullet point (8226) displays fine in all three, as do various other Unicode characters (I've seen music notes in SERPs before now).
- Does anyone know if there any particular characters that are safe/unsafe?
- Is it possible to get search engines to show the characters as I code them, and include the ones at the front of the title?
- Is there any data on what title formats garner a higher click-through rate?
Also, just to be clear, I'm not trying to "trick" search engines or be "sneaky", I'm just interested if it's possible to increase CTR when a page is not #1 in the results.