Title Case – Or, Why Do We Make Titles Unnecessarily Difficult To Read?

SEOs seem to love title case and I can’t quite work out why.

Even I’ve been known to write such titles.

Readability

For one, title case is harder to read. Which of the following sentences flows better?

  1. Title Case — Or, Why Do We Make Titles Unnecessarily Difficult To Read?
  2. Title case — or, why do we make titles unnecessarily difficult to read?

Search Engine Optimisation

Think Google really prefers Title Case? Don’t be silly. Should I have evidence before saying search engines prefer/don’t prefer title case? Probably. Will I argue the point anyway? Certainly. They stopped caring about keywords meta half a decade ago and I find it hard to believe that giving your favourite words a capitalised first letter makes one iota of a difference

Proper Nouns

When proper nouns are in the title, such as places or peoples’ names, things get super-confusing — especially when someone’s name is also a thing:

Court Supports Swimming Legislation In Schools

Perhaps you haven’t heard of the famous politician David Swimming. Or the small (fictitious) town of Schools. Or the (made-up) use of the word “Legislation” in the context of wherever the fudge I was going with this ridiculous headline.

Court supports Swimming legislation in Schools

That’s better, Mr Swimming gets the capitalisation he deserves and it’s clear that Schools is a thing and not just a reference to, you know, schools.

How I Read Title Case

All title case does is harm readability and makes it difficult to scan RSS feeds. Ultimately, it gets read like this:

Title. Case. Or. Why. Do. We. Make. Titles. Unnecessarily. Difficult. To. Read?

As if each word is separated by the needless pause of a semi-literate movie gangster.

Conclusion

I will readily admit that this is pedantry at best but I think clear communication is important and costs so little. Just save capitals for proper nouns and the first of sentences eh?

</rant>

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