At a past job interview, one of the questions that they asked me was “how long is the title tag length for this year?” I won’t lie, the question bothered me. I knew the answer, but at the same time the question didn’t define my skill as a SEO specialist nor did it reflect my qualities. In response, I said that the standard definition you hear would be 55 characters. Instead it really depends on the character width and em size. By the time I was done explaining the title tag length, the interviewer was lost as I went into a more technical answer than she had expected to hear. Was I right? Absolutely. Did I give an elaborate answer on a simple question, because I was annoyed with the question? Most definitely.
For 2016, Google has been testing a major change to the width of the left-hand column for organic search results. Google is testing a 17% increase in pixel containers from 512 pixels to 600 total pixels.
While you might be thinking that with 17% more space in 2016 for title tags there is room for 9 extra characters in the title tag. This would be true, except for character widths ’em’ as previously mentioned. A lower case ‘i’ will take a lot less space on a search result than a capital ‘W.’ So while it may seem the 9 extra characters will fit in search results, make sure to carefully watch the characters you’re adding for your search results in 2016.
My recommendation for 2016 is to keep your title tags under 60 characters and you’ll be fine.