[thelist] SEO vs Usability - order of title tag

Stuart Young drstuey at gmail.com
Mon Jul 24 00:50:50 CDT 2006


I'm having an argument at work about the order of the title tag for the
homepage of a site.

According to the SEO-centric viewpoint, the most important keywords should
always be at the front of the title tag, hence the name of the company
should be at the end.

However it is my contention that for the homepage of the site only, the
title tag must start with the name of the company. Unfortunately, I can't
find much evidence of this on the web, except for Nielsen's "Top Ten
Guidelines for Homepage Usability":

2. Write a Window Title with Good Visibility in Search Engines and Bookmark
Begin the TITLE tag with the company name, followed by a brief description
of the site. Don't start with words like "The" or "Welcome to" unless you
want to be alphabetized under "T" or "W."

I can't find any other evidence of how the title tage may be used in
bookmarks, or robot assembled lists and hence it should start with the
company name, because users may find it difficult to find the link if it is
out of alphabetical order or doesn't start with the expected phrase.

Similarly I can't find any real evidence of search engines prioritising
keywords at the start of the title tag. Is the order of the title tag so
important for SEO that it should override basic usability?

Anyone have any evidence either way?

Remember, this is just for the homepage. All the other pages on the site
should start with the keywords/page title and end with the company name/site


This is the gmail account of Stuart Young
Pt Chev, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand

More information about the thelist mailing list