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Silly, trivial question about titles for Instructables... Answered

Is the prefix phrase 'How To Make...' superfluous when creating an instructable? Which is better?: "How to make Fruity Oaty Bars" or just "Fruity Oaty Bars"


. As others have pointed out, this is not really a trivial question. Too bad more ppl aren't as concerned about making their stuff findable and easier for the reader to read. . You are most definitely NOT "inexcusably stupid" (or even excusably). Ignorant, maybe, but you're working to fix that problem. Ignorance can be easily fixed; can't do much with stupid. ;) . And thanks for not loading up the keywords with unrelated terms. . Not real sure about this, but your idea of putting "How to make" on the end of the title should work, unless the searcher puts the whole search string in quotes.

Thanks - my worry with putting it as a suffix is that people might find it annoying when they see it on a whole series of items. Still not sure...

Prefix = good semantically, and good for search engines, bad anywhere the title will be truncated

Suffix = good for truncated titles, not so good semantically, not quite so good for searches.


. I would give search engines first priority. I don't think it will matter to the search engines, but I don't know that. If you do any research, please let us know what you find out.
. I'd put how it looks in site listings, pop-ups, &c second, which amounts to being first if I'm right about the search engines.

I have to agree with Nacho, making your instructable accessible to as many people on this site as well as outside of it doesn't seem to be a priority for too many people. Adding "how to make" before "fruity oat bars" gives people a little extra information, and when searching for "fruity oat bars" google should see it either way.

One thing I would suggest though, check out google's keyword tool. Type in fruity oat bar, and see how many people are searching for that. It can also suggest ideas on other titles and tell you what is popular in searches, and how many times people search for it.

I find "How to..." and similar suffixes superfluous here. After all, this is what Instructables is all about. Compare with cookbooks. The titles there doesn't go "How to bake rye bread" or "How to make french fries"


10 years ago

I agree that it helps for search engines. I found this site while searching for "How to put games on a calculator".

Oh, and please do the instructable on the Fruity Oaty Bar! That would be shiny! You will do the impossible and that will make you mighty!

The only time "How to make..." would be inappropriate is when the instructable is how to "do" something (like learning ASL, for instance) that does not produce some thing

The phrase is not superfluous, since it is often part of people's search-string on google, and so would be more likely to bring them to your project instead of a recipe page on another site without the phrase in its title.

That's a very good point, which I had (inexcusably stupidly) overlooked. -I had been thinking mostly of the way titles sometimes get truncated in sidebars and the like - it could end up looking like a list of titles that just say "How to make F..", "How to make B.." and so on. I wonder if it would be a workable compromise to put "Fruity Oaty Bars - How to make"? - an exact-phrase search in Google for "how to make fruity oaty bars" might miss that, but then an exact-phrase search with that many words is likely to miss a lot of relevant things...

The "how to... " format is generally recommended. It reads the best and tends to do well in search traffic which is how many people will find it.