Google Officially Changes Snippet Length in SERP

Last Update: December 02, 2017

I was scrolling through Google+ today and came across an interesting article.

The author basically says that instead of Googles result pages only showing 160 characters, it's now been increased to 230 characters on average.

Here's a link for further reading: https://searchengineland.com/g...


My question for you guys is does this mean we should start adding the extra 70 characters to our meta descriptions on new posts?

It seems like if this news is true that would probably be the best practice in order to be more visible in the SERP.


I hope this information is helpful and look forward to hearing your guys' responses!

Thanks,

Dom

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SantaFez Premium
Thanks for clarifying this issue - it makes sense now as to what I see on google SERPS !
Cheers - SF
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DSweat1 Premium
Np, glad your question got answered!
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BobBarr Premium
There may not be any benefit to rewriting existing meta descriptions to take advantage of this change. Near the bottom of the linked article is this paragraph:

"Some webmasters and SEOs may consider updating their meta descriptions, but I don’t believe Google would recommend doing so. The snippets are more often dynamically generated based on the user query and content found in both the meta description and the content visible on the page. If Google is going to go with a longer snippet, it likely will pull that content from the page."
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DSweat1 Premium
So do you think for future posts it would be fine to just keep doing the regular 160 character posts and if Google wants to add more from the content, they will?
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BobBarr Premium
A longer description in future posts may be beneficial. One thing to bear in mind, though -- Google treats your meta description as a suggestion. It can, and sometimes does, ignore that text completely and pulls the snippet from within the page's content.
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DSweat1 Premium
That's a good point. I'll keep it in mind and maybe do a little experimentation in the future!
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cramervod Premium
If you read the article is saying that people shouldn't go back and change the description. It's more than likely used depending on each user search and not a given that it will show 230 characters.
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DSweat1 Premium
Right, but I'm wondering if going forward it would be beneficial to start adding 230 character meta descriptions on FUTURE posts, not changing old ones.
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cramervod Premium
I believe that it's Google wanting to add that additional information. Because of that, I don't see the point in changing things that work. If Google comes out with a statement that says yes go ahead change yours we want you to give users more to see then change start doing it.
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AdeRobinson Premium
That's interesting. I sometimes felt it was too short. And my SEO plugin insists on filling out the characters (which I wonder about...).

I've been noticing that when I find my posts in a google search, I don't see the meta description or SEO title, a lot of times I see only The H1 tag as the SEO title and the H2 tags fill out the meta description.
Have you experienced that?
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DSweat1 Premium
I think I've seen that on a couple of my posts. It might be similar to Google only displaying review table stars on posts that are ranking well over time.

Even though I have the review table on every review post, it still doesn't show the star rating in the SERP because my site authority, traffic, etc. isn't up to par yet.

I could be wrong but that's my understanding of why it isn't showing your meta description.
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IvyT Premium
That is very interesting and useful to know, thanks!

I'll be curious to see whether some of the automated responses we get on word count with SEO plugins will be updated to reflect this.
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DSweat1 Premium
Np, I'm not sure... Which SEO plugin are you using?
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IvyT Premium
Yoast!
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DSweat1 Premium
Ah okay, I don't have any experience with Yoast, I use the All In One SEO which doesn't have automated word count responses to my knowledge.
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