Optimizing Title Tags in Blogger ~ Search Marketing and Internet Marketing Blog Online

Optimizing Title Tags in Blogger

Update: see my updated tips on hacking your design code to transpose your title tag in blogger.

Optimizing Blogger Title Tags

One of the challenges when choosing a 'free Blog' is the SEO implications based on your decision. There is a host of choices out there - Wordpress, Blogger, Moveable Type, etc.

Personally, I chose Blogger as my 'free Blog' of choice without a lot of research. I figured, "Hey, Google, owns it. It must be good, right?" Well, the answer is yes and no. For a publishing platform it is easy to use, edit, incorporate Adsense, change templates, etc. From an SEO standpoint, however, it is very limited.

By default Blogger templates come with a “smart” tag inserted that automatically places the Blog Title before every post title in the title tags on the actual post pages. This “smart” tag also displays only the Blogger Title for the main page of the blog - meaning your Blog title is shown on EVERY page.

So, for most of you involved in SEO, I’m preaching to the choir when I tell you that title tags are important and that they could very well be the most important piece of your blog. For those of you not familiar, here are a couple of things about title tags.

  1. Title tags describe a page. They are a one line summary of what the page is about. The common understanding of the tag is to wrap the title of the site. Unfortunately for many people, the title of the site is completely un-descriptive of the content of the blog. For example, my blog is called "Search Marketing Blog Online”. If I put this in the title tag, search engines really have no clue as to the content of each post on my site. It would be much better for SEO to place a keyword-rich description (e.g. “Optimizing Title Tags for Blogger”) in the title tag.
  2. It’s the Title Used in SERPs! The content of your title tag is what will be displayed in search engine results.
So, yesterday, I made it my mission to find a way to fix/manipulat Blogger's smart tag. In doing so, I found another problem - there are two versions of Blogger templates still being used. There is a Beta version and the Classic version and nowhere did I find both 'fixes' listed in one place.

So, here you go!

Optimizing Blogger Title Tags - Beta Version

This is written for Blogger's Beta version and so it only works in Beta.

Installation

Find the following codes, near the top of your template:

<title><data:blog.pageTitle/></title>
Replace with the following code:
<!-- Start Widget-based: Changing the Blogger Title Tag -->
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
<b:section id='titleTag'>
<b:widget id='Blog2' locked='false' title='Blog Posts' type='Blog'>
<b:includable id='comments' var='post'/>
<b:includable id='postQuickEdit' var='post'/>
<b:includable id='main' var='top'><title><b:loop values='data:posts' var='post'><b:include data='post' name='post'/></b:loop> ~ <data:blog.title/></title></b:includable>
<b:includable id='backlinkDeleteIcon' var='backlink'/>
<b:includable id='feedLinksBody' var='links'/>
<b:includable id='backlinks' var='post'/>
<b:includable id='status-message'/>
<b:includable id='feedLinks'/>
<b:includable id='nextprev'/>
<b:includable id='commentDeleteIcon' var='comment'/>
<b:includable id='post' var='post'><data:post.title/></b:includable>
</b:widget>
</b:section>
<b:else/>
<title><data:blog.pageTitle/></title>
</b:if>
<!-- End Widget-based: Changing the Blogger Title Tag -->

Optimizing Blogger Title Tags - Classic Version

<title><br /><mainorarchivepage><$BlogTitle$></mainorarchivepage><br /><itempage><blogger><$BlogItemTitle$></blogger> - <$BlogTitle$></itempage><br /></title>

Use the above code in place of: <title><$BlogPageTitle$></title>

That's all for now! Happy Blogger optimizing:) You can click through some of my other posts to see how the code transposes the title tags.

79 comments:

cheapdanny said...

I just used the code for beta version and it worked! Thank you...

dipps said...

Hi jon thanx for your advice.I achieved what i wanted

TravNurse said...

Works great! Thanks

CJ

Chuck and Brenda said...

Jon, thanks for the advice. I just have one question. How do you know if it worked and changed to post title first? And, will this affect articles you have ranked in the engines already? Thanks for your help.

Jon Clark said...

@chuck and brenda - Nice work! It appears you have set it up correctly on at least one of your blogs:
http://buyanauto.blogspot.com/2008/02/chevrolet-volt-gms-new-breed-of.html
You know it has worked when you see the title of your post in front of the blog name (ie. Chevrolet Volt: GM's New Breed Of Electric Cars ~ Car Buying Tips To Save You Money).

The idea is fill each blog post title with rich keywords. The title tag is arguable one of the most important factors when determining how a page ranks in Google, Yahoo, etc. That being said, yes, pages that are currently ranking will probably see some change but more than likely for the better.

Keep in mind, this does not affect your homepage so rankings you currently hold for your homepage should not be affected by this adjustment.

Hope that helps!

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Chuck and Brenda said...

Thanks a Bunch Jon. I cant believe you answered so quickly and your instructions were so precise and easy to follow. You definitely have a new fan.

Jon Clark said...

@chuck and brenda - no problem at all! Honestly, I can't believe the search engine response to the change on my own blog. You should definitely start to see traffic begin to flow in over the next few weeks and months as well.

Feel free to share the tip(s) on your own blogs for your readers. You might gain some new subscribers as well:)

Cheers!

Jon Hyman said...

Is this hack no longer working for anyone else? When I try to save the template, it tells me: "Your template is invalid because the tag 'b:section' appears inside of the tag 'head'."

This error popped up today - never happened before.

cheapdanny said...

I got the same error message beginning last night and posted questions on the Blogger Group still waiting for someone to answer.

http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help-troubleshoot/browse_thread/thread/77eeb14941ab0da7/7287dddae453ae0f?lnk=st

nikhil said...

I too got the same error. Hoping to get solution for the problem soon.

Jon Clark said...

@jim hymna @cheapdanny @nikhil

I've been trying to look into the error everyone has been getting. Everything seems to still be working correctly when just posting new entries. Is the error only seen when changes are made to the actual template?

Mark75 said...

Hi, I used a very similar hack and I also have the very same error. New entry are ok but you can't edit the layout, since blogger gives this error when you try to save the layout.
I hope there is some solution, since I need to correct a problem in my layout...

msn nickleri said...

b seciton will be problem.

"iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması" said...

Hi jon thanx for your advice.I achieved what i wanted

hayalbahcesi said...

Works great! Thanks

show time said...

Works great! Thanks

health articles said...

Works great! Thanks

nikhil said...

@Jon, I tried to implement this code enormous number of times, all I was getting was b:section error.
Actually earlier the widget was working fine. This all started when I tried to put yahoo site explorer authentication code inthe html. I wasn't able to save the file and then unfortunately I had to remove the title tag widget from the html file.

mriza said...

I got the same error.
I hope someone create a new tweak for this blogger title.

cheapdanny said...

hey Jon,

There's no problem posting new entries. I see the error message only when updating the templates and widgets in the layout tab.

Thanks!

yayix said...

still no solution?

Anonymous said...

I experimented some when I too was getting an error when implementing this code.

I deleted that one line first BUT

THEN I put the code above the head element and saved and it worked like a charm.

Make sure you save a template with the code and another template with out the code.

You can't move page elements around with the code in there.

ilker said...

Yeah, works like charm when you put the code above the head element!

nikhil said...

Ya it works when placed above the head tag but I wonder how will it behave in search engines because as I thinks most of the search enginew won't index your title tag if placed out of the head tag.

Jon Hyman said...

I moved the hack in front of the head tag, and have had no issues being indexed, at least by Google.

Richard Wilson said...

True. Anyone try this yet? See any search engine results? I want to try it without getting hammered if it makes my title tag un-findable by search engines...

R

MobileToday said...

Hi, I am facing the problem, a message occurs here "Your template is invalid because the tag 'b:section' appears inside of the tag 'head'."

what is and how can please help.

thanks

Stef said...

I did this and put it above the head. Works great! Thanks! Dont' know about the SEO yet though.

Richard Wilson said...

I get 60% of my traffic through Google so I'm still scared but thanks for the note..I'll do some ssearches for your blog in few weeks and see what google thinks of it. Good luck.

R

Richard Wilson said...

I get 60% of my traffic through Google so I'm still scared but thanks for the note..I'll do some ssearches for your blog in few weeks and see what google thinks of it. Good luck.

R

NicCage The Actor said...

Placing the code above HEAD seems to work fine. Thanks!

Jon Clark said...

Hi All,
I recently posted a new article on 52 ways to optimize your blog while on your break. I hope you can pull some more useful data out of it!
http://searchmarketingblogonline.blogspot.com/2008/03/52-ways-to-optimize-your-blog-while-on.html
Cheers!

TC said...

Just to summarize the solution to the problem some people are having implementing the change Jon suggests...

(NOTE: I am using curly brackets instead of angle brackets around the tags below. Does anyone know how I can get around having to do this ... just for future reference?)

First, remove the {title}{data:blog.pageTitle/}{/title} line found under the {head} tag.

Then, ABOVE THE {head} TAG insert the replacement code Jon specifies.

Works like a charm! Your blog's home page title displays as your Blog Title ... and your post page titles display as "Post Title ~ Blog Title." Very cool.

Thanks Jon.

TC at Risk Averse Alert

NicCage The Actor said...

I was wondering if ontop of tweaking the title tag, if at the same time you can also have unique meta descriptions for each post. I came across a site that has a code that allows this:

http://wiian.blogspot.com/2007/08/blogger-hack-meta-tags-for-individual.html


Will this code disrupt the code that you provided?

It would be great if I could keep my unique meta desciption for the homepage (www.celebrityouthouse.com) while having different descriptions for each post.

Thanks.

Nita said...

Hey, thanks for the tip, it works!

Anshu Garg said...

Hey, it is not working & showing this error "Your template is invalid because the tag 'b:section' appears inside of the tag 'head'."

Can u pls help me out??

Anonymous said...

yap the same problem for me as well
showing error

Googillion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Googillion said...

I got the following error "Your template is invalid because the tag 'b:section' appears inside of the tag 'head'."
How can I solve this problem?
Thanks

Eric Prince said...

For those of you having issues:

If you follow the directions to paste above the head, all is well. You also need to click not only on the label, but then the title when you get to that page for the title|blog name to take effect.

Geri Atric said...

O.M.G. Jon, I wouldn't dare to do that! Still, it looks useful, so I'll save your site to favourites and check back on it when I've gained more blogging confidence! I've only ever inserted a google webmaster meta tag up until now and a button that went awry - and am still trying to work out where exactly to put the Yahoo search engine verification code (when I eventually apply to Yahoo for it that is).... Any advice there?

hamzah said...

i copy in my blogger template... error like that....

Your template is invalid because the tag 'b:section' appears inside of the tag 'head'.

in http://mp3lyric2u.blogspot.com

IMPedia said...

thanks a lot for this post

Chuck Marunde said...

Jon, I feel kind of stupid asking this, but I made the change to my blog, http://sequim-port-angeles.blogspot.com/, but I don't know how to tell if the change worked. In one of your earlier answers, you wrote that you can tell if it worked if the post title is in front of the blog title, but where is that? Do I have to wait for Google to index my post and see what the title looks like tomorrow, or were you saying there is an immediate way to find out? Thanks in advance.

Jon Clark said...

@ Chuck
Congrats! You installed the code properly! Take a look at your post below:
http://sequim-port-angeles.blogspot.com/2008/06/home-builders-and-low-ball-estimates.html
Now take a look at the blue bar on the top of your browser window. (I need to do a post on title tags:) You should see the post of your blog entry first followed by the name of your blog - ie. Home Builders and Low Ball Estimates - Sequim Real Estate & Port Angeles Real Estate Blog.

You can read this post on constructing high quality title tags (or how to name your blog posts) here:

Arvind Gupta said...

Hi...

I've written a similar hack for optimizing the Blogger title tag that works:

New Working Method of Making Blogger Title Tags SEO Friendly

mxyzplk said...

its doesnt work... it say that Your template is invalid because the tag 'b:section' appears inside of the tag 'head'.

Andrew Ellis said...

Awesome.. worked for me! Thanks!

Aneesh said...

hi it no longer works as blogger doesn't allow such code within the <head> tag from now on..

You can optimize the title by deleting the title tag and putting that code out of the <head> tag..

You may read about it at Optimize Blogger title Tag

Kappa said...

I'm new to blogs, but this sounds like a good idea, and after following all the advice it worked. Thanks.

ILyes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ILyes said...

If this script don't work for you ( you get an error message), then use this small one:

replace
<title><data:blog.pagetitle/></title>


with

<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;item&quot;'> <title> <data:blog.pageName/> | <data:blog.title/> </title> <b:else/> <title> <data:blog.pageTitle/> </title> </b:if>


My blog is: free php sources


you can see the custom title on: php variables

onlinecelebs said...

sorry it didnt worked with my blog.
http://onlinecelebrities.blogspot.com

Rasa said...

OMG, you are a genius. I am so happy to have found your blog. You now solved all my SEO problems. :)

Javier Rincón said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Javier Rincón said...

Hi,

I have tried using this code, but I already had this other piece of code within it just after the line of code you asked to replace. What do you recommend doing please?

Because I couldnt post the code inside this comment, I made a post myself within my blog and posted both your code and the other one. Can you please help me sort out if they are incluse or exclusive. The post is called "Metatags, which is better?", just for you.

Thank you

Stellathomas said...

When writing titles for your posts, you should bear this in mind to ensure your titles are keyword rich which will help your posts be indexed more easily by search engines. Try to place the most important keywords close to the beginning of the title, as many search engines limit the number of characters which are used in titles, both in their listings and in search results.
==================

Angelinjones

OPINION LEADER

josé said...

Ilyes, very good hack. It works fine.

You can see it at http://killmenos9.blogspot.com (in spanish)

Oda oyunları said...

Thanks very nice.

Style Eyes said...

Great thanks. Looks like this has worked. I was starting to get really wound up with the title tags on blogger

adi said...

Hello. I got some error. As show as "Your template is invalid because the tag 'b:section' appears inside of the tag 'head'." Please give me solution. Thx

Gerard Banhidi said...

Same error as well:

Your template is invalid because the tag 'b:section' appears inside of the tag 'head'.


Could you please update the code?

Thanks.

wordpress said...

thx man nice tips

harlan1s said...

When I am in the edit screen, how do I get into the title section? When I click html it shows the code for the body, but not the title?

Thanx for your time.

RookieSAHM said...

I just did this and it worked. I did have to post the code above previously noted per the notes left. Thanks. I am NOT a techy at all.

Jon said...

I moved the code before the < head> tag and everything worked fine. Was getting errors when I put it after the < head> tag. We'll see if it works =/

Chic Mommy USA said...

Hum, I posted the code above the head, giving me now a message that "More than one widget was found with id: HTML14. Widget IDs should be unique."
What can I do? I really want to optimize my blogger blog

Chic Mommy USA said...

Ok I got to save the template, I got a funky error with a bad widget.

Anyway, now, how do I know I installed well and if it is working?
Thanks for the help!
I am just learning!

★★ The Grunge★★ said...

jon, I can not change the installation code that you put on my blog. Can you help me?
Can you give me your template is optimizing?

Glamiva said...

I tried this and I got this error:

Your template is invalid because the tag 'b:section' appears inside of the tag 'head'.

So I scrolled down the comments for solution and was disappointed that Jon doesn't post any solutions yet.

Then I saw TC's response (March 29, 2008 8:45 PM). I tried it and it worked! Thank you so much tc for the solution and Jon for the code!

Here's how I did it:

1. Delete the code that Jon instructed to. (Press Ctrl+F to find it within the window)

2. Then Paste the given code by Jon ABOVE head tag, NOT REPLACING IT with the deleted code.

Thanks!

inte miljonär än said...

Thank you so much for this! I got it to work (I hope), been looking for something like this for a while so this was great!

Miah Laborte said...

hi i have problems when putting up the codes...

Your template is invalid because the tag 'b:section' appears inside of the tag 'head'.

that is the message taht always appear hen i try to save it, please help?

Julie said...

I added the widget above the head tag as directed and it seemed to work fine but then when i go back to page elements and tried to save my blog i got the error bX-rg6px?? I tried searching on blogger forum and there are other people with same error but no answers to fix the error??

nheynaz said...

hi, I tried the code for beta and I got this error 'Your template is invalid because the tag 'b:section' appears inside of the tag 'head'.

Bar Supplier said...

Hi this code works great for me, but when I try to preview my pages or posts, it gives me an error? Anyone know why this is?
I also get the error when I move page elements around and try to save?
I have to go into template designer to try to move page elements around

$iva said...

have an error:::::


Your template is invalid because the 'b:section' tag appears inside of the 'head' tag.

Error 500

SAURABH said...

As TC mentioned that John's code should be written above the head, then why people are complaining that the code is not working.

I also got the same error, then I pasted the code over the head section, it started working for me. I hope all the guys and girls must be understood this.

Jon Clark said...

Everyone seeing the error regarding 'b:section' should check out my title tag update post here