Why does the character counter for SEO titles show a different count?

The character counter shows the total number of characters for your SEO title tag based on the title format you’ve set for the content under Search Appearance.

The default format we use is the content title, followed by the separator character, followed by the Site Title.

We do this in order to comply with Google’s Quality Guidelines for Titles and Descriptions which states that titles should be branded.

Specifically, they state “consider including just your site name at the beginning or end of each page title, separated from the rest of the title with a delimiter such as a hyphen, colon, or pipe”.

Therefore, the character counter counts the number of characters in your SEO title, the separator character, and the Site Title.

For example, our FAQs page has an SEO title of “FAQs | All in One SEO” which is a total of 21 characters broken down as follows:

  • The SEO title we’ve given the page is “FAQs” which is 4 characters
  • Our Site Title is All in One SEO which is 17 characters.

The character counter shows the total number of characters for your title tag including the Site Title which is automatically appended to your title by All in One SEO.

We append the Site Title in order to comply with Google's Quality Guidelines for Titles and Descriptions which states that titles should be branded.

Specifically, they state “consider including just your site name at the beginning or end of each page title, separated from the rest of the title with a delimiter such as a hyphen, colon, or pipe”.

All in One SEO does this for you and you can control this in the Title Format fields under All in One SEO » General Settings » Title Settings.

Therefore, the character counter counts the number of characters in your SEO title, the separator character and the Site Title.

For example, our FAQs page has an SEO title of "FAQs | All in One SEO" which is a total of 21 characters broken down as follows:

  • The SEO title we've given that page is "FAQs" which is 4 characters
  • Our Site Title is All in One SEO which is 17 characters.