Domainating: Brands, Art & Content

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Web Page Titles/Names

If you are using one of the latest browsers on your PC, or browse the web on a mobile device, it is very likely that you don’t even see the name of the page your current browser window is displaying.

Why?

Web page titles and even their filenames are important assists in helping your site’s web pages search. By providing a unique title and name that reflects the content found on that particular document, you are providing more meta data to the search engines. If your title/name meta data are accurate for each page, this optimizes search. And we optimize the ability for searching the page, we optimize search for the entire website.

I would think that by optimizing search, the search engines might even be more likely to rank your site’s page higher in the search results. This is the general idea behind Search Engine Optimization (SEO), providing optimized data to enhance your listing’s rankings in the search engine results (often referred to as SERP for your ‘Search Engine Ranking Position’ or ‘Search Engine Results Positioning’).

Yet as I surf the web, it seems to me that more and more I am running across pages that are completely untitled, or all the pages in a website share the company name, or are simply titled and named inappropriately (home, page 1, page 2, page 3…). I have even seen many that are labelled “Untitled”, which seems to be the default name that WYSIWYG web page editors use.

But if you look at how we use the web nowadays, it doesn’t seem unrealistic that this is so unimportant to so many. People in the know understand fully how important these names and titles can be when it comes to optimizing search, because these particular fields, even the filename, are concise representations of what might be found on that page, and therefore, words that appear there, as well as are repeated elsewhere throughout the description, headings, content and image descriptions (maybe even in the image file names), are given more importance in search.

Because the title and name of a page usually use concise wording, even most of the very basic search algorithms place even more importance on the few words found here. And when there are fewer words used, their importance is greater for each word there, because importance is less spread-out when they are concise, as opposed to a certain importance spread between more of them.

That, by the way, is how some SEO professionals think, and I completely disagree, that using more key search words is good.  It is much better to be concise and concentrate on the keywords and terms that are your focus.  These can be underlined with synonyms and such in the content, but to stuff keywords in a title or filename, even in a description or keywords list (within meta tags) is just not a good idea.  But that is a different subject, overusing names and titles.  I just want to encourage their practical use, and even all of the major search engines like to see this, too.  It’s called paying attention to the details.

Of course, any modern advanced search technology uses much more refined algorithms, but it always starts right there, with each page’s own name and title. Why do so many overlook them and their importance to search?

My answer is that the new modern web browsers are making it less important.

When I am browsing the web on my PC these days, I am in productivity/creativity mode, and I usually only have a single web browser window open. But that one browser window is full of tabs showing all sorts of different webpages for all the different online projects I am working on.

Often, I have a tab open for the font creation tool I am currently utilizing. Another for each of my different hosting accounts I manage. Another for my WordPress blog, one tab for Blogger and yet another for Tumblr. I usually always have my Twitter and Facebook accounts readily available, as well.

On top of that I will have the websites open that I am working on, and the next ones I want to touch-up, as well. Because we can do that with modern browsers on a fairly recent machine that has some processing power and enough memory.

So, what do I see as the title of each page in these tabbed windows? Well, since the current open tab is not enhanced above the individual tabs (as it should be) in Chrome or FireFox, I see:

[In] [In] [W] [S-] [Pr] [H] [H] [Sh] [D] [g] [W] [Bl] [T]…

Browser Tabs (Screen grab)

Reduced size screen snapshot of my browser tabs. Chrome shows a letter, maybe 2. FireFox shows a word, maybe 2 short ones. But both are ignoring the current active title, as well as all the others.

It is the modern web browser that is masking how important those Titles are!

If the title of the page isn’t even displayed in the current active browser window, this is a huge burden in educating users the importance of the proper use of the HTML title tag. Especially when Google is declaring that what is the most important thing to it is that their search results are reflecting what the visitor actually sees and is presented with upon arrival to that document.

Isn’t Google itself devaluating these titles in Chrome?

Interestingly enough, your PC or Mac web browser’s address bar is still there by default and yet most users and even many webmasters are ignoring its importance. Site administrators, owners and webmasters ignore it with non-related domain name choices and even more poorly thought-out directory organization and file naming conventions.

However, the issue does not stop there. Because screen space is so important on smart phones and handheld devices, the page title doesn’t appear unless we are switching between different page views. In fact, the web browser’s address bar disappears as soon as we scroll down the page a little. That said, as soon as we start scrolling up, it will reappear, reaffirming its importance to navigation. But I honestly don’t think that anyone understands that importance, because I find myself frustrated not having a gadget that represents the browser bar there for me to tap and access.

My differences in UI (user interface) design vary greatly from the mobile plaftform, though. I believe in visual clues that allow navigation. Unfortunately, the mobile UI is very unfriendly in this respect. So although you do have elderly people adopting smart phones, I find them even more frustrated with the expected UI experience because they are expecting a GUI and not the touch motion technology that mobile users have to learn.

Nevertheless, despite the challenges of humans interacting with mobile device interfaces, it remains clear that Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s FireFox are abandoning the display of the all important web page title unless you actually look for it. So now is it becoming just meta data?

I have to ask myself why, and I really do think that they too, are sick of seeing unused or inappropriate HTML document titles. Since the webmastering public at large doesn’t use the title tags correctly, why should they even display them, I suppose?

But doesn’t this start down a new slippery slope where we don’t even worry about our page titles because they are so out-of-sight and therefore out-of-mind?

Or are they actually going to give SEO professionals a reason to stick around because as always, all they have ever done is tackle the obvious that a newbie webmaster or newbie web designer without a clue would miss?

Nevertheless, despite their somewhat inappropriate disappearing act from the full view of the global world wide web community, web page titles and names do have a proven impact on assisting search. So it is then obvious that these things really do require your attention when designing a website, setting up a new page, posting a new blog entry, etc…

Just remember that each name and title reinforces the key search words/terms, advertising copy and even the brands themselves that are represented on these pages and it all makes common sense, doesn’t it?

In example…   If you are creating a page about the different kinds of rodent traps, you might want to name your web page HTML file as “rodent-traps.html” and title it “Rodent Traps for the Home”.  Then, on that page you would discuss the different kind of traps available for different kinds of rodents.  Use head tags to identify different kinds of content.  Then, you will link to pages about particular traps or brands… so maybe you have another page discussing Rat Traps at “rat-traps.html” and it may discuss the differences between poison traps, concussion traps and sticky traps, then each of those may point to reviews on particular brands of traps at other pages showcasing those brands or products.

I can go into more detail, but to me this is all common sense.  Of course, I am a well educated web designer, as well as an artist.  I’m supposed to understand this stuff.  But not all webmasters do, and so that’s why I want to reintroduce some of these common sense practices to the world, because when a page title or name disappears, we think about these little beginning design touches a lot less, and yet they are very important to the grand scheme of search.

I don’t preach Search Engine Optimization (SEO), I preach search optimization (which has a better effect on SERP because you eliminate the worry).

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August 2, 2014 Posted by | Advertising and Marketing, Brands, Business, Computing, Devices, Domain Names, Google, Internet, Search, Smart Devices, The Human Condition, User Interface eXperience, Web Design & Development, Website Optimization | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Progress for the sake of Progress?

WordPress is certainly changing…  and just like with Blogger I am not happy with the changes.  

It isn’t a big deal, I can still find myself around the interface and all, but it’s all very unfamiliar and unfriendly to me.  I liked things as they were and moving the OS all around and putting the same options in different places just is not even intuitive.

Don’t get me wrong, as a designer I recognize that we should push the boundries of design.  But when you have spent some time away from the blog and return and everything is different and you have to look around and think when everything was second hand, and you posted freely before, you get a little put-off by all this user interface magic.

There is nothing new here, it is all just changed around.  WTF?  How is that beneficial?

Then, because I am so miffed and disturbed by all these changes on what was a friendly place to go post on my blog…. I left for a while, again.  But wanting to revisit and update My blog I return and everything is different in the blog dashboard/control-panel YET AGAIN?  It hadn’t really been all that long?  

I’m starting to get dizzy with these non-improvements.  The new blog entry editor pops ABOVE the blog?  Ad you only have a tiny window in the editor, with no chance to update the text field window gadget?  That seems a bit backward to me.  Everyone uses text fields that you can drag around and make larger, now.  And if you “pop-out” the editor window, it is still the same size.  You can make the window itself larger, but the text field size won’t budge!?  WTF?

C’MON MAN!

This is a joke.  Stop trying to be pretty, WordPress, I want functionality.  I just so happen to hate tiny little text field windows unless I can drag them farther open.  But look, this is not a step forward, it is a step back.  

Why do I even bother?

October 17, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back In Action

I’ve been stuck without a working PC for way too long now.  I’m back.

I was relying on a cheap ($120.00) tablet or My smart phone for email an such, but My Polaroid T7 internet tablet sucked so bad for typing because of the incapability of its insensitive touch screen that the attempt was pointless.  And although I managed some email with My DroidX, I do not recommend counting on a smartphone (of any type) for managing your digital life.  They can enhance your mobile life, but to rely on them as a digital answer is going well beyond what they are capable of doing.

I would like to grab an Asus Prime Transformer to replace My broken netbook PC, but at least I have my Sony Full HD Laptop working again.  The power supply (the AC converter) went out on it and now I am using a 3 prong version from Batteries Plus while I await My order for the Sony stock replacement (which isn’t the one that it came with, as My computer has become obsolete).

But at least I can blog again.  And I will in the future.  Let Me tell you, cheap tablet touchscreens suck and tiny smartphone touchscreens are better, but they are still so tiny that they are too much of a chore to use.

I have lots of Android apps and hardware to recommend in the future, and I’ll be reviewing the Polaroid T7 as well as the Pandigital Planet (that I had been stuck with for 3 months), some android accessories that I think are cool and lots of cool apps, games and even some apps that need their creator(s) scolded.

I’ll be writing again, soon!

Glad to be back.

Crap, WordPress has changed.  This will take a great deal of getting used to.  I hate advertising.  I’ll look for a non-spammy alternative.  Maybe Tumblr…

January 14, 2012 Posted by | Computing, Smart Devices, The Human Condition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment