Getting your page to top 10 results in Google is one thing but getting people to click through is yet another story. It is easier if you are #1 of course – but if you are somewhere in the middle, catching surfers’ eye is quite hard.
One way is to make your title short and concise, as well as do your best to make it contain the search terms (which will be in bold). Surely, it is really hard – you only have about 65 characters at your disposal – it is almost impossible to foresee everything having such a small playground.
Quite naturally, webmasters have been looking for alternative ways to make their listings more eye-catching. Inserting various symbols is one way to experiment with.
Possible symbols include:
- a star (۞ OR ★)
- an asterisk (*)
- ~~ instead of –
Back in 2006 I experimented with one celebrity site adding stars (★) to the title. It did stand out and seemed relevant (as the site was actually about the stars). But Google quickly started dropping my pages out of the index. They were all back once I removed the symbol.
Some forum threads report that Google starts using ODP title in case it founds stars being added to the title.
I have never seen any negative effect with characters like * or ~ though. Neither can I state those characters are real help when it comes to the click-through.
What’s your take?