We updated our Keywords Spam Detector,
and added new content that editors, writers, SEOs, and others might find useful. I’m reproducing below some of the new material added.
Recommendations for Writing Titles
- Search Engines
Search engines might process entire titles, but tend to display in their search results about less than 70 characters. So you may want to limit web page titles to about this mark, like between 60 to 65 characters.
- Academic Journals
Some editorial guidelines, like JAMA, limit the length of titles to 150 characters for reports of research and other major articles and 100 characters for Editorials, Viewpoints, Commentaries, and Letters. (JAMA, 2016).
- Words Usage in Titles
The average character length of a word in English, Spanish, and similar languages is about six. Thus on average a 60-character title amounts to about 10 words, regardless of if these are unique terms. This is just a reference mark as text estimates can be influenced by other variables. For instance, text averages can be topic-sensitive and influenced by their syntactic structure (Busch-Lauer, 2000).
How short is too short?
- The length of a title is a relative concept. By current standards, a 60-character title, which amounts to about 10 words, is considered fair enough for search engines, very short for most academic journals, but too long for songs. Indeed. A recent study found that song titles with one or a few words are on the rise and preferred (Kopf, 2016). However, these types of titles are not informative enough for search engines and academic journals.
- Generally speaking, articles with short titles are more attractive to readers than those with longer titles because the latter are frequently perceived as complex, confusing, or boring. If readers don’t find attractive a title or cannot understand it, there is a little chance that they will read or cite its abstract or the full paper (Deng, 2015; Chawla, 2015).
- A 2015 study confirmed that academic papers with short titles receive more citations per paper, being more attractive to readers than articles with longer titles (Letchford, A., Moat, H. S., and Preis, T., 2015).
- A 2012 study found that short-titled articles have higher viewing and citation rates than those with longer titles. Similarly, articles with results-describing titles are cited more often than those with methods-describing titles (Paiva, Nogueira Lima, & Ribeiro Paiva, 2012). The same study found that titles containing a question mark, containing a reference to a specific geographical region, and that used a colon or a hyphen were associated with a lower number of citations.
Visit the Keywords Spam Detector page to learn more about the topic or to follow the referenced studies. It might at least help you to investigate why artists like Rihanna and Justin Bieber prefer one-word song titles.