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I have a site with the keyword in the name as the first word, currently seperated by a space. Most posts contain the singular version of the keyword at the end of the title, so current titles in Google show as:

Title goes here + keyword | keyword (plural form) + suffix

(both together = site name.)

My idea of seperating the plural form of the keyword in the site name from the suffix was that it would he easier to rank for both title + singular keyword as well as title + plural keyword while still having my site name added at the end. However, for brandability purposes and just because I think it would look better I was thinking of attaching the site name to become:

Title + keyword | Keyword(Plural)Suffix

with no space in the middle of the site name.

Do you think that will hurt SERPs? Will the plural form of the keyword still be bolded if it is directly attached to the suffix?

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An example of an actual <TITLE> element would have helped.

Anyway, the <TITLE> element is the most important on-page factor for SEO as well as CTR, so it should be optimized properly. Do note that title elements beyond 65 chars would be truncated by Google in the SERPs, so you've gotta be a bit creative within that character limit.

Stuffing in keywords in a <TITLE> is not the proper way of optimizing them. A title not only helps the site rank, but it is also the only thing that a user sees on the search result pages and makes a decision whether to click it or not.

So a <TITLE> should have 3 parts:

  • Keyword
  • CTA (Cal-To-Action)
  • Domain name for brand recall value.

Search engines emphasize the most on keywords placed at the beginning of the title, so your title should actually be

<TITLE>Keyword - CTA | Domain/ Brand Name</TITLE>

The CTA could be anything that you think would entice a search engine user to click on your link in the search results. Any special deals or discounts you're running at the moment could also be your CTA element.

Keeping a singular as well as plural form of your primary keyword in the would be redundant and eat away your valuable (and limited) title real estate. Use either one of them and use the other version in the body of the page.

  • Thanks for your response. I undersand your points, but am not sure if they would apply exactly to my site. I have a meme generator. Currently tiltes are dynamically generated from user captions so title: <top caption> <bottom caption> Meme <unique id[avoid duplicates]> | Memes Happen (site name) depending on captions, some titles are naturally quite long. Although meme is the main keyword, we rank gor long tail kws using both caption and meme as well as some using caption and memes. What would i do in such an instance. I am considering linking the brandname instead of 2 seperate words... – Ahmed Widaa Jun 21 '16 at 16:53
  • Should I replace the unique ID with a CTA like "recaption," thereby avoiding the ugly numerical meme ID which appears in titles and just link the title to make it seem more brandable. Currebtly we receive a majority of our traffic from image search with relatively few web search even though we do have quite a few keywords ranking on analytics. I mostly want to increase CTR without comprimising SERPs, hopefully they can even improve. Regards – Ahmed Widaa Jun 21 '16 at 16:56
  • I just had a quick look at your website and also found that for many pages, Google is adding Make a meme to the end of the title in the SERP, which I guess is to make users aware that the page is on Memes. Your titles are user generated and so ending up being too long. Also since, meme is a pretty competitive term, I would keep it somewhere at the beginning of the title followed by the caption. Something like Memes Happen - <caption>. That way you include the primary keyword at the beginning but also leave room for the caption to rank for long tail keywords including the word meme in it. – pro_ng Jun 21 '16 at 18:18
  • Thanks, so If I were to place the site name at the beginning, can I also link it as one word ie. MemesHappen • <top caption> <bottom caption> and currently after the top caption and bottom caption we also add the word meme to all titles. Should that be removed? And what about the meme unique id(numbers) which was added to avoid duplicates? Should that also be removed? Regards – Ahmed Widaa Jun 21 '16 at 18:58
  • I would go with Memes Happen over MemesHappen because 1) The former is considered as separate words while the later is a single word and 2) With Memes Happen you can consider removing the extra meme added to your TITLE. As for the unique ID, you may consider keeping that. – pro_ng Jun 21 '16 at 19:17
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Please keep in mind that modern search engines use semantics and ontologies in their analysis. One ontology strips plural terms, both in the content and the search query, from plural to singular versions of the term. This is automatic and on the content indexing side, a plural term is indexed as both singular and plural. This means that car and cars are equal in the index and also likely in the search query. While there is a distinct difference between the search query and content indexing, on the query side of things, a plural version of a term may still be taken as plural, however, in some respects depending upon the search engine, on the index side, both plural and singular are indexed for better matches and should give the same results. This is the case for Google anyway and I assume for Bing as well.

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