Newslet #1 ::: Important Title :::

I almost started a topic in the Cre8asite Forums last week with this title. Then a thread got into the subject of DMOZ titles and I realized that this was rapidly developing into an ideal Newslet, in other words a possible SMM Newsletter.

Suppose you’d seen the title of a Forum topic just like that:

::: Important Title :::

Would you have gone to see what was there? As they say, curiosity killed the cat. I’m sure many of us would check it out. But, why was this title so much more important than any other title in the Forums. The truth is that every title is important, and probably more than you instinctively realize.

My own image of titles is the following. Imagine a huge crowd of people milling around trying to get my attention. Some of them are holding up placards. I manage to see a few of these placards and one of them really gets my attention. So I want to go and chat to that particular person. In many situations, the title is not just the thing at the top of the page. It becomes the only thing that is seen. The title is just like that placard. A choice is made among the various titles as to which document or web page will get my attention. If I haven’t got much time to look at the Forum topics, then it’s the title that determines whether I look at a particular topic.

The title is a bit like a slogan for a company. Just reading a list of the names of potential suppliers doesn’t entice me to look at a particular company. But if the company has a slogan that captures the company’s competitive advantage versus its competitors, then I may be more inclined to check out that company more carefully.

Not surprisingly, search engines also seem to attach considerable weight in their search algorithms to the title of a web page. This is very logical. Hopefully the web page creator realized that the title is the place to put the essential information about the page in capsule form. Untitled.> So once more the title is of prime importance.

This is when I ran into the “wall” of the DMOZ (Open Directory Project) policy on Titles. The DMOZ policy is very clearly stated. It can be illustrated by the words DMOZ applies to an example it shows of a Bad Title:
– This is a company’s web site. The title field should contain only the company’s name.
– The title contains descriptive information. Titles should not contain descriptive information about the site (or in this case, the company). Descriptive information goes in the description field.
Even though a more descriptive Title might help users more quickly grasp what the company does, this is forbidden. It would seem that DMOZ is applying an approach that is out-of-step with many other entities in the Internet field.

So what’s your opinion on Titles?