Google SERP Snippets Lengthening

What’s this about?

I don’t know many people who are pleased about Google lengthening snippets in SERPs.

Essentially, this is a drive to lessen traffic to a destination website (who clicks anymore?) by providing an immediate answer in search.

It is also about providing a better experience to search users. After all if websites are slow, have hordes of non-Google ads, and are not mobile-first, who would want to send traffic there anyway.

Anyway, back to rewriting meta descriptions then…

Read about it in this extract from TWIS SEO News & Updates 1st December 2017.

#SEO #SEONews #SERP #MetaTags

Google Increases SERP Snippets

Google SERP Snippets Lengthening

Key Issues Summary:

  • It all seems to be about snippets these days. First Featured Snippets, then disappearing robots.txt snippets, and now lengthening somewhat.
  • Google is now regularly showing snippets of up to 230 characters, and occasionally 300 characters and beyond.
  • Cue: SEO webmasters all over the world who have believed that a meta description should be no longer than 160 characters suddenly discovering they could write much longer descriptions.

Key Actions To Take:

  1. If you have only ever written 160 characters meta descriptions, you could be in for a fair degree of rewrite work.
  2. It’s not clear if Google will always produce longer description snippets, or if it is an occasional thing.
  3. Remember that Google has always said that for most searches it generates a snippet itself, rather than rely on a pre-written meta description.
  4. Whichever snippet is produced, like title tags, make sure that what you want to surface and be shown is in the first 160 characters, rather than leaving it all for a ta-dah! surprise at the end.
  5. Click here to contact me to discuss meta description snippets in search.

Insights & Discussion:

Here we go. Google is really pushing down the “no need to click” line now, by pushing more information into the search results. There’s not a lot you can do about this. But if you have always focused exclusively on 160 character meta descriptions, then you may need to consider getting your writing tools out again.

More Information:

Return to Top

The State of SEO Mid-2017 Released

The State of SEO Mid 2017

We recently released the super-exciting The State of SEO in mid-2017. Read it now.

Return to Top


Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

Return to Top