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I would like to know if long html titles should be used for pages instead of google adwords keyword tool based short titles - for SEO / Ranking purposes?

I feel that it is a mistake to use short html titles made up of 2-3 words strictly based on google adwords keyword tool. I have tried using short ones based on what the adwords keyword tool suggested, but that has served me no purpose as I cannot see my website pages anywhere in the search results. Please correct me, if wrong.

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Like everything else - make it with users in mind.

Don't worry about what machines will make of your title, worry about what people will make of it and write the most appropriate title for the article/page/site, this should normally be both descriptive and brief.

If you bend your copy to suit Google too much you will end up with pages with a lot of traffic but a massive bounce rate.

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This article pretty much lays it all out for SEO best practice title tags:

http://www.seomoz.org/learn-seo/title-tag

To sum up don't go over 70 characters and remember that search engines give more credit to keywords at the beginning of a text block than at the end so put your competitive phrases first and phrases you would expect to rank well (such as your brand) at the end.

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