Google Increases Snippet Length in the SERPs. Does this Benefit SEO?
In the earlier days of SEO, you will remember that Google had imposed a limitation of 160 character length on snippets in the search results. Users missed out on a descriptive approach with these snippets. This prompted Google to increase the snippet length to 230 characters to make it more useful to users. The news has now become official since the authoritative SEO website Search Engine Land confirmed this news by publishing it on its website.
What is a Google Snippet?
It’s understandable that many users would not understand what snippet is. It actually is a small text that automatically shows up in the SERPs. This text is shown when the user enters a query and the description of the page or summary information is displayed in the search results. It is this summary which is known as a snippet that Google displays along with a link to the website URL and the page title.
The snippet length now stands improved
Until recently, Google had restricted its snippet length to just 160 characters, which included blank spaces as well. This has now been increased to 230 characters, counting the blank spaces too. Users now can write lengthier web page descriptions, making more room for creativity and more information about what the web page is about.
Google makes the official announcement
Google also made the official announcement by saying that a change was made in the snippet length to make the snippets more descriptive and useful. According to Google, this will help people in understanding how pages are relevant to their searches while making snippets slightly longer on an average. Many SEO companies around the world have noticed this change. Their in-house search engine optimizers have confirmed that this move by Google has made snippets more user-friendly and easy-to-use.
The result – polarised opinions
However, many in the SEO world are divided over this new development. Some SEO experts are of the opinion that expanding the Meta descriptions to 230 characters will benefit SEO and will be in line with Google policy. However, many others are not in sync with this idea. They are of the opinion that since these snippets are often dynamically generated in line with a user query, Google will automatically pull out the lengthier content from the page itself. Hence, there is no need for a lengthier description currently.
To conclude, the world of search engine optimization is incredibly volatile currently. There are no indications beforehand whether an established trend would get reversed. Conversely, a new trend may suddenly be introduced, causing major chaos in the SEO world. All said and done, this new trend by Google could see an entirely new way marketers write and optimize these meta descriptions.
A longer meta description may mean a dip in curiosity on part of the users, resulting in fewer clicks. On the other hand, a well-written description could also mean more confirmed queries, since users will be damn-sure what your website offers. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Good luck with writing the new snippets!
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March 10, 2018