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<title> values (was RE: What are these "many applications" ??)

From: Foliot, John <john.foliot@chase.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 18:39:31 +0000
To: "Ganesh J. Acharya" <ganeshjacharya@gmail.com>, wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D0DBF1AE71D5D1448811AC41795190740EAB485A@SCACMX021.exchad.jpmchase.net>
Ganesh J. Acharya wrote:
>
> Checked both the new "up-to-date guidance" ... I don't find any
> information regarding Title length here. 
> I needed to decide on a healthy "Title Length" which the older
> document had informed.
>
> So, what would be that? 64 characters?


Hi Ganesh,

I would suggest that the appropriate length is the appropriate length <smile>. Perhaps once you think beyond the visual output you can see why I say that.  

For screen reader users, the <title> element value is the first thing that is announced by the screen reader - it assists in orienting the user to where they are, and confirms that they are where they want to be. As well, the value of <title> is the value that is used when a page is bookmarked by the end user, and finally, the value of the <title> element is also an important aspect of SEO.  For these reasons, artificially trying to constrain the number of characters in the title length will as much hurt you as help you - it is certainly not doing accessibility any service to truncate or shorten the page title to fit inside of a fixed numbers of characters. (It in some ways reminds me of my buddy Chaals McCathieNevile who was unable to include his full family name in Twitter, as they had restricted the number of characters you could input for 'Family name')

If you really must have some rules around <title>, I would suggest instead that you go from page specific to site general in the title string; in other words this:

       <title>Ganesh's Page - Meet our staff - The Great Company Inc.</title>

.is superior to this:

       <title>The Great Company Inc. - Meet our staff - Ganesh's Page</title>

.as it will assist the non-sighted user more efficiently, and stand out better in bookmarks (imagine somebody bookmarking 10 pages from the Great Company Inc website - in the first example each bookmark will be different from the start, whilst in the second example you will have 10 bookmarks that all start with "The Great Company Inc." - and again think of the SEO benefits of that as well).

HTH

JF

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Received on Thursday, 31 October 2013 18:40:06 UTC

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