The Meta Title Showdown: Pipes vs. Dashes Test Benefits


Digital Marketing

For lots of several years now, the discussion of pipes (|) vs. dashes (-)  has been widespread in the Search engine optimization industry. Some people favor dashes as they continue to keep your eyes – flowing – throughout – the – textual content, whereas pipes can | halt | you | mid-sentence. Despite the fact that, some others argue that the slender width of the pipe offers a number of more pixels of house to squeeze another search phrase into the title in advance of it gets truncated by Google.

On the other hand, with Google now re-producing up to 61% of title tags the debate has re-surfaced and turn into a warm topic of discussion yet again. Supposedly, getting dashes as a substitute of pipes will direct to far less re-writes, which gives webmasters much more manage more than the way in which their internet site is exhibited in the SERP.

Who’s to say that re-writes are a poor thing however? Absolutely, if a re-generate qualified prospects to an improved click on-by means of price this is a little something every single site owner ought to welcome?

In any case, with so much speculation on this matter, the only legitimate way to find if an Search engine optimisation technique performs or not is to actually test the idea in motion. It might seem like a trivial depth, but listed here at Koozai, we like to know the info.

Hence, we developed a 3-month exam to examine the organic targeted traffic, simply click-by means of rate and total re-writes across a exam and regulate group of URLs for our personal website.

The Speculation

By modifying the pipes to dashes, there would be a lower in the amount of titles that would be re-composed by Google in the SERP.


Even though every single hard work has been produced to hold as several variables as doable fixed, there are frequent modifications to the position algorithm which can ultimately skew success.

The dataset will become much more statistically important as much more URLs are tested. Our dataset was manufactured up of 10 internet pages in the control group and 10 internet pages in the examination group (20 complete) so much more URLs will need to be analyzed to ensure our conclusions.



First, on March 25th we identified the leading 20 organic website posts in Google Search Console (28-day period of time), that had pipes specified in their HTML via the meta title tag. These web pages have been then organized in buy of their organic and natural targeted traffic concentrations and each individual other URL was separated into the examination team, while the remaining URLs were being used as a manage group.

The 20 webpages were recorded in a Google Sheet here to re-pay a visit to in 3 months’ time:



When the 20 pages experienced been documented in the spreadsheet, we were being in a position to populate the remaining columns with our measurements, these involved:

  • Natural clicks
  • Natural impressions
  • Normal click-as a result of amount
  • Regular Placement
  • Meta title specified in the HTML
  • Meta title displaying in the SERP
  • Has the title been re-created?
  • If it is been re-prepared, what improved?

The Tests System

After these data factors had been recorded, we then went by means of and updated all of the meta titles for the exam team by transforming the pipes to dashes, this was the only alteration built.

Put up-test

Just after the 3 months had elapsed, we re-frequented the Google sheet and re-recorded our datapoints, wanting particularly for any significant adjustments to the natural impressions, organic and natural clicks, CTR and meta title re-writes.


  • The take a look at group (swapping pipes to dashes) experienced 30% of their titles changed in the SERP. The management team (retaining pipes) had 80% re-published in the SERP
  • The regular CTR throughout web pages exhibiting a dash in the SERP was .81% vs. .91% for web pages with pipes in the SERP
  • When Google re-wrote meta titles, the CTR right before the alter was .66% vs. .54% following the alter
  • Natural clicks declined by 13.7% for the check team and enhanced by 13.5% for the command group
  • Shifting pipes to dashes led to far less re-writes (3/10 vs. 8/10).


Shifting pipes to dashes led to much much less re-writes (3/10 vs. 8/10). This illustrates Google’s desire to display pipes more than dashes.

Nonetheless, internet pages with a sprint in the SERP experienced a reduce CTR than webpages with a pipe, which illustrates the user’s preference to simply click on titles with pipes. Also, there was a damaging impact on the natural and organic website traffic for the exam team, so using the additional time to re-generate web pages with dashes in fact led to fewer organic clicks.

For that reason, it is advised that pipes are utilized in meta titles instead of dashes. This could possibly signify that Google re-writes more titles but the over-all consequence of leaving the internet pages with pipes is an increase in CTR and natural visitors.

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