Earlier this month, Google officially increased snippets length in search results. The update was launched in the desktop and mobile versions of the search.
Let’s look at this change in more detail. To this end, we performed a search for “net neutrality law”. In the figure below, we see that in the search results has an article The Hill, published a few days ago, in which the snippet is much longer than usual.
Earlier snippets in Google length was limited to 165 characters. For individual types of snippets, queries were longer. In general, according to Sistrix data until mid-November in more than 90% of search snippet is not longer than 165 characters.
Then Google has added a few more lines. Now in the mobile and desktop versions of your search instead of an average of two or three lines of description displayed four, five, or even six.
Returning to our example, the snippet The Hill is 266 characters. In the following result from the website Save the Internet, – 277.
Previously, Google snippets are displayed in a limited amount of information, which often was not enough to get the answer. Therefore, users have visited the site and were looking for the information there.
In the case of The Hill, under the old limit snippet would look like this:
“Net neutrality – a basic principle which prohibits internet service providers such as AT & T, Comcast and Verizon to speed up, slow down or block any …”
Google now has turned into a kind of snippets of extended responses (featured snippets), which are displayed in the top of the SERPs. The Hill of the page description now looks like this:
“Net neutrality – a basic principle which prohibits internet service providers such as AT & T, Comcast and Verizon to speed up, slow down or block any content, application or website that you want to use. Net neutrality – this is how the internet always worked. “
Individual users will want more look into the matter and will be transferred to the site. But many people would be sufficient that the information they see in the description of the page in search results. Therefore, they will not go to the link, and the reason for this – an increase in the number of characters in a snippet.
Even Read: How to Make a Website First in Google Search
What is Changed?
This update also affects the SEO. Google changed two things: the length of the snippet and its recommendations on the matter.
Previously, Google has recommended creating meta description does not extend beyond 160-180 characters. Now the search engine says that officially recommended length meta description is no more. In this case, Danny Sullivan (Ed -. The former chief editor of Search Engine Land, which as now working for Google) said on Twitter, that you should not use more than 320 characters. According to our observations, and according to other data providers that monitor the SERP, is a reasonable limitation. We did not find a large number of snippets whose length would exceed 300 characters.
When did this happen?
It started around mid-November. November 22 SISTRIX began to see an increase in the length of the snippets in their data sample. As of December 2, longer snippets received approximately 51% of the search results. However, many results still have a very short description. Most likely, this is due to the fact that they are formed from old meta descriptions, optimized for the 165-character limit. Updating the meta description, you can get more space in the SERP.
What we have to do?
What should I do now? First of all, make a list of priorities (in theory, he should be you) – a list of the most important landing pages that receive the most search traffic. Then re-optimize meta descriptions under the increased limit.
Then you can do on your own. Our advice: visit the SERP, which send you the most traffic, where you configure the best, and check limits. Most likely, they will fluctuate between 230-320 characters. Consider this range while optimizing meta descriptions.