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Is Google’s Meta Description Length Increase a Game Changer for You?

Is Google’s Meta Description Length Increase a Game Changer for You?

By now you have heard about Google’s changes to its meta description length. In fact, the SERPS have extended both the length of meta titles and meta descriptions.

The change was first spotted earlier this month by Ross Hudgens. Later, Jennifer Slegg at The SEM Post reported on it in depth.

So what exactly is going on with Google meta descriptions and titles?

Changes to Meta Description Length

If you have been working with keywords and meta titles for a while, you already know there is a method to it all.

The norm has been 55 – 60 characters in the title and 155 – 160 characters for the meta description. It has been like that for as long as we can remember. But times are changing. And for the better, we suspect.

Google has increased title tags to 70 – 71 characters. That means that now you can fit in at least another word or two.

And how long can you make your meta descriptions now? They are a whopping 100 characters per line longer. They have also extended them from two to three lines.

Photograph by mbortolino via iStock

That is a momentous increase. It means you have a greater opportunity to tell the SERPS what your page is all about.

At the moment, the Google meta description length still seems to be two lines for most results and we are still seeing descriptions of 160 characters.

Yet, when a three line meta description displays, you will notice that the descriptions come in at around 278 characters per line.

What’s important to note is that the SEO meta description increase could well be a test. Google may reverse it at any time.

Google Increases Meta Description and There Are Benefits

More up-front information within search results is good for Google and great for users. Google is always striving to improve user experience and engagement.

They have determined that more information within meta tags may increase the chances of people finding the answers they’re searching for.

Properly optimized meta titles and descriptions are essential for organic success. It’s often the meta tags that have influenced a user’s willingness to click. Now, the title will become more important if there is more text for each result.

A Few Things to Take Advantage of in the Mean Time

There are a couple of things you can do to take advantage of the meta description length increase:

Use meta keywords –  naturally written meta keywords within your content can help to increase your rankings.

Include branding – those extra 10 – 11 characters may be enough to add your company’s name. That gives you a little more brand awareness you didn’t have room for before.

Track changes – if you do play around with the meta description template, track your changes. Test their performance against old meta keywords and descriptions. There may not yet be a big improvement, but you don’t want to see traffic go down.

Let’s just repeat one thing: the changes to Google meta description length are an experiment right now. It may be some time before Google changes it, though. They’re going to want to gather enough evidence to ensure the increased lengths do have an impact, if at all, on user experience.

Our Thoughts on the Meta Title and Description Length Increase

These changes may not be a bad thing. This is especially so for people struggling within the title constraints.

More characters will give you have a chance to include better keywords in your meta descriptions and titles for search engines to display. As long as you do this in an organic manner.

It may just lead to better rankings, right?

And that could be the game-changer your site has been waiting for.

You don’t need to do it alone, though. Our copywriting agency has all the knowledge and experience needed to help your site standout with quality content and the right meta descriptions and titles.

Annie has 18 years’ experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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