It’s hard to believe that something as small as a title tag is so important to Google, but it makes a big deal. Your title is the best way for readers to see what your webpage is all about, so Google wants it optimized properly. This essentially means that you have to worry about your title tag and how it is measured. Although many SEO tools measure this in characters, some are finding that title tags are actually measured by the width of the pixels. Huh?

How the Width of Pixels Differs from Number of Characters

It is usually easier to manager your title tag when you’re focusing on the number of characters, so this has long been the way businesses optimize their sites. However, this is actually not the most correct way to make sure your title tag is ready to go. The width of the pixels simple means the width of the pixels in all of those characters together. This doesn’t usually change too dramatically, but it makes sense to be as accurate as possible.

Experts estimate that it can go from about 512 to 548 pixels wide, which can actually be over 107 characters (a number higher than some have been using). This is a recent change made to the Google algorithm, so it’s not too late to make a change. You may have seen your rankings slip over the past few weeks, but this is an easy fix.

How to Tell If You’ve Been Affected (And How to Make a Change)

It seems as though the easiest way to determine the width of the pixels is by using the bookmarklet tool by SEO Mofo. Darren Slatten has done quite a few tests on this subject and has found that a bookmarklet is the best way for determining any changes Google has made to title tag requirements. The tools works as follows:

  1. A JavaScript function that scrapes the content and counts the characters as well as the width of the pixels.
  2. Everything is put into a table for you to view.
  3. The maximum character count as well as the maximum width in pixels is automatically found for you.
  4. The bookmarklet works with snippet content, or the Meta description content, as well as the content of the URLs that are actually displayed on a SERP.

Working with the tool is easy. You simply search for something in Google, click the bookmarklet that you have downloaded (and hopefully dragged into your bookmark bar), and then you’ll have a table of SERP data. Give it a try and let us know what you think!