In December 2017, Google increased the length of its search results snippets. A snippet is the description underneath the URL in organic search results that provides more information about the page. Snippets are also called meta descriptions, and they usually include content from the web page that Google dynamically generates. The experts at Saba SEO, a leading web design company in San Diego, discuss some of the changes in Google’s search results snippet length.
Once Google increased its search results snippet length, many web developers lengthened their meta descriptions. Even though Google often pulls the snippet from the page content instead of the meta description, developers wanted to add more information to their meta descriptions just in case searchers saw them. However, it now seems like web developers may have wasted their time. In May 2018, just five months after the search results snippets were lengthened, they were shortened once again.
While the snippets were lengthened, they were about 300 characters on average. Now, desktop search results snippets are only about 160 characters, and mobile snippets are only about 130. Google employee Danny Sullivan confirmed the change, saying that the snippets have been shortened, but they’re still slightly longer than they were before December 2017.
Sullivan also said that Google won’t set a limit on snippet length because they generate their snippets dynamically. The exact length of a search results snippet depends on what Google algorithms determine to be useful to the viewers.
If you lengthened your meta descriptions after the change in December 2017, you may be wondering whether you should shorten them again. In December, Google told developers that the snippet length change shouldn’t impact how they write meta descriptions. The rule should still be true as the snippets get shorter again. Because the majority of snippets are generated from page content and not meta descriptions, you may not have total control over the information included. Instead, you should focus on having helpful and organized content on every page of your website.
Google algorithms are updated every now and then, making it difficult for business owners to maintain their online ranking. If you’re having difficulty with search engine optimization, turn to Saba SEO. We are among the leading marketing companies in San Diego with over ten years of experience in SEO. Our experts are up to date with the latest changes in search engine algorithms, and we can create a customized, comprehensive, and results-oriented digital marketing strategy for your business. To learn about our high-quality services, give us a call at 858-951-1717 today.