It seems that Google’s designers have been allowed out of their cage recently and wrecked havoc with the look of the search results. You might have noticed that the first line of individual search results blocks has got bigger.
That means that there is less room for your title tags to appear on screen. So, many millions of website designers/business owners who carefully worked within a 65 character limit now have their title tags cut off at the end with an ugly … (which steals even more characters by the way). This WON’T affect ranking, just how you look in the results.
So, what is the new limit to use for a title tag? It depends. You see they subtly changed to a proportionally spaced font and fixed width field. So that means if you have lots of MMMMs you’ll get far fewer characters than lots of llllls. Capital letters rob you of more space. Personally I’d aim for 60 now. I might try and put a tool together to try replicate what Google are doing.
A very odd change for Google’s web designers to make. Even if they thought it looked nice, the end result with almost all titles being cut off with … at the end is ugly as sin. Putting my cynical hat on I’d suggest it might be a ruse to make the paid search results look cleaner (they are guaranteed 25 characters) and therefore subtly increase clicks and hence Google revenue, it certainly isn’t about making the search results look better.