How Bing Picks Your Title Tag

Before we get talking about title tags, let’s have a look at another type of tag web pages use: Meta tags.


The Meta tag is hidden and is placed in the webpage’s <head> section. Although these remain invisible, the Meta tags can be useful in telling the search engines what your page is about. Search engines don’t rely just on these tags to identify your pages’ content, but it’s still a good idea to have those filled in: It shows good structure.

The Meta tags are used to describe the web page. Bing or other search engines make use of the description tags to explain your page to their users on the SERPs. An appropriate description tag will make the search result more attractive for the visitor to click on. When creating description Meta tags you must keep these in mind:

  • Don’t stuff the Meta description tag with keywords. Always make sure it is reader-friendly and try to include your main keyword in there. Use keywords naturally because Bing examines natural sentence structure
  • Explain what the page is about
  • The description should be distinct for each page
  • The length should be restricted to 160 characters or less
  • You should check the description for spelling or grammar errors

Title tags aren’t really Meta tags. However, they are often grouped into the same category. This tag is placed in the <head> section as well. The title tag shows in the following cases:

  • When bookmarks are saved, the browser uses the title tag for naming the bookmark
  • The title tag is usually what is shown in the Bing’s SERPs
  • The web browser displays the title at the top of the window

When creating or optimizing title tags for webpages, good guidelines to follow are:

  • The title tag should ideally consist of 60-70 characters. The extra text is truncated by search engines like Bing
  • Avoid putting company or business name in title tags because this wastes space
  • The tiles should be distinct for each page
  • Check the title tags for spelling or grammar errors

Recently in a blog post, Microsoft’s search engine, Bing revealed the process by which they pick title tags. Bing said that they aim to help visitors or users by making their search tasks easy and efficient. To achieve this objective, Bing performs the following:

  • Titles are important because they show the relevance of search results to user’s query. Therefore, they optimize the titles for relevance
  • Bing not only optimizes the titles but also the snippets. Snippets are crucial because they help the users to decide whether they should click-through or not
  • In addition to the above optimization process, Bing also optimizes display of URLs. The URLs are useful for determining the potential relevance of results and authenticity of websites

When Bing optimizes snippets, URLs, and titles, it follows complex rules that involve different factors. The titles that are lengthy are usually truncated to fit the space that is available. Pieces of information that are likely to be preferred by the users are also incorporated in titles. Other information like prominent text and OpenGraph annotations that are extracted from webpages are also used in titles. External data sources like anchor texts are also used by Bing.

The task of creating appropriate titles is not always easy. Bing offers some ways by which you can make sure that your specified title tag is chosen.

  • Make relevant, keyword-based titles, and avoid generic titles like “Home” (instead, use your brand name for example)
  • Be consistent with OpenGraph if you are using it (keep the same title and make sure all the information is correct)
  • Any listing or citation you have, make it consistent as well. Make sure to update any wrong information to the correct one across all websites and directories
  • Let Bing’s crawler do its job. Make sure you are not slowing it down (Webmaster Tools) or even blocking it altogether (robots.txt)

And to the black hatters and spammers reading this article, there is not much long-term use in hyper-optimizing your title tag if the content of the page is of low quality, as Bing does not only look at the title and description tags, but also at the value of the content of the page. Hence, it’s always important to come up with content that resonates with your audience and keeps them asking for more. All the recommendations above are only useful if the rest of the page is worth ranking. After all, that’s what’s Bing’s business is about.

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