E-Marketing in Minneapolis David Vinge, eMarketing Dashboard : SEO Tip - No Registration Marks ® in Page Titles

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

SEO Tip - No Registration Marks ® in Page Titles

Should trademark registration marks ® be used in page titles? Short answer is "No." They are not necessary and can present issues.

Special characters are not always supported in browser window title bars and they can appear poorly in search engine results.

The last example above from the Lowes site can be blamed on a poor content management system that allowed the error through. Below is an example of another page on the same site where the registration mark is displayed correctly in the search results.

The point is why risk hurting your search engine click throughs with a poorly displayed result when it isn't necessary?

Registration marks are not legally required in page titles. For example none of the major companies place registration marks in title tags on their sites. See trademark guidelines at Microsoft and IBM

A general best practice for offline communications is that registration marks should appear in the first or most prominent usage of the mark. Typically a Web site will cover all the trademarks in a legal statement on the site.  Again, see Microsoft and IBM for examples of best practices. 

While we're talking about marks, be sure that you understand the differences between ®, ™ and ℠. This should be detailed in your Web Site Style Guidelines and/or Brand Guidelines:
The registered trademark symbol, designated by ® (a circled R) is a symbol used to provide notice that the preceding mark is a trademark or service mark that has been registered with a national trademark office. Trademarks not so registered are instead marked with the trademark symbol ™, while unregistered service marks are marked with the service mark symbol ℠. The proper manner to display these symbols is immediately following the mark in superscript style.


Claire said...

Perfectly put! I'll remember this smart, best practice...thanks David!

Bobby Jassos said...

Trademark protection in the US depends on how it is used, and it must be used in commerce. It’s hard to identify a source of goods or services if you aren’t actually providing goods or services or using your trademark in conjunction with your goods or services. There are many consulting firm they can search trademarks for you.