SEO Question about long Page Titles

Posted on 2012-09-10
Last Modified: 2012-09-13
I have a site that is a shopping cart for performance auto parts.   I'm trying to figure out the best strategy for the title tags for our
  1. Category Pages
  2. Part Pages

The issue that I'm running across, is that each part could fit 12 different vehicles, so we'd like to have the part title show as that...   Part Name | Vehicles | Price: $####.##

But, like I said, some of these parts fit 12 vehicles, so the title ends up going way beyond the 70 character mark.

For instance:

(not trying to plug the site, but I need to show an example)

The title ends up being: | APR 2.0T FSI ECU Upgrade for 06-11 Audi A3, 06-11 Volkswagen Golf, 06-11 Volkswagen GTI, 06-11 Volkswagen Jetta, 06-09 Volkswagen Passat | Price: $599.00

which is 169 characters.   (yes, we do have parts that fit anywhere from 1 vehicle to 18 vehicles)  [ | APR 2.0T FSI ECU Upgrade for 06-11 Audi A3, 06-11 = 65 characters]

On top of this, because the name of the company, and most of what is sold is turbo kits, I think (could be wrong, but...) that turbokits is our most important keyword, thus should be first in the title.

The category pages are even longer, because some vehicles may have only a turbo kit, some may have 16 different categories of parts...
Question by:kevp75
    LVL 58

    Expert Comment

    W3C say the title tag should be no more than 64.
    Likely anything over this will be ignored by the search engines and so will have no benefit
    Stick to part name, number etc and stuff the keywords into the page.

    Not sure if you will be able do this with your cart system but you could have canonical pages for each car brand/part number...
    LVL 25

    Author Comment

    Well... I'm not real keen on the canonical links...  but each part/category/vehicle does have it's own page, even if the part exists in another category/vehicle.

    What would the benefit be to canonical links?  I could;ve sworn I saw that those were a bad idea?
    LVL 58

    Assisted Solution

    If they already their own seperate pages then you have nothing to worry about, but the long title you exampled above will be truncated
    Not bad at all.  They tell the search engines which page is the relevant page so you don't get duplicate content penalties. e.g. should have a canonical link to so the search engines know is the authoritive page and the link to index.html won't be penalised because it has the same content.

    Most shopping cart systems use them because you can usually access product pages directly or as a subdirectory of the category (canonical link to
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    Canonical links are a good thing, and being promoted especially by Google.

    Here are a couple of articles on rel=canonical -

    In terms of longer page titles, Google's algorithm will sometimes change the page title to what it thinks the page is about based on the content in the page.  Google will truncate your page title, but if you feel that your best natural title includes all of the Vehicles you should include that information.
    Note the section called Page Titles in this article from -

    That being said, you don't have to include all the information in the title tag, and Google & Bing are smart enough to get the vehicles it pertains to from the page content without having that information in the title.

    At the end of the day, if it helps a user to have the Vehicle information in the title so they can select your result from a search engine, you should include it and Google will likely figure out a way to include it.

    Here is a good, more general discussion of title tags for "humans, Google, and Bing" -

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