Google alters meta description length in May 2016

Google has made significant alterations in meta description length in May 2016. This has gone unnoticed to many in the blogosphere. But what does this mean to the webmasters? The basic function of the meta description is to provide a brief summary to the audience so as to lure them into following, turning them into loyal readers, clients.

Previously, the meta description length was of pixels ensuring that 165 characters are shown up in the search engine result page. With the modifications in pixels, the total characters Google shows up has gone up to 275 characters. Matt Southern of Searchenginejournal has shared his observation that this is in use by Google in England.

He isn’t aware if the same is being followed in other parts of the world. Therefore, it seems that Google is experimenting with this alteration to meta tag. Anytime a roll back without prior notification as it did at the time of alterations can’t be ruled out.

At this juncture, we can only speculate and do nothing about it.

HOW WILL EXTENDED META DESCRIPTION LENGTH HELP WEBMASTERS?

A good meta description is said to ensure healthy click-through rate. But the blogosphere was replete with the opinion that the meta description length was always wanting in space. And was never accommodating more characters to make it more enticing.  With extended meta description length, webmasters will have the liberty to showcase more about their content.

Searchers will have more access to information as the dedicated space for description will display more characters.  They will have numerous informative snippets in each result pages to choose from at their disposal.

The blogging fraternity looks upon it as an opportunity for improving click-through rates. More informative meta descriptions have brought positive results as blogs, sites are receiving more traffic and have lowered their bounce rate.

Meta description optimisation may become an important on-page SEO factor if Google doesn’t roll back the changes.

WHAT SHOULD BLOGGERS, WEBMASTERS DO?

In the wake of such alterations brought about by Google, it is an opportune time for onliners to take stock of their descriptions and decide if they should be left as it is or otherwise.

If you haven’t chosen any description for a post and left it to Google to select one from the text, it is time to go for a change. For more space will lead to more character inclusion.  So, instead of depending upon Google write your own description now.  Make full use of the extended meta description length available from May 2016.

You may go ahead and add some more keywords in this space to show Google how relevant is the description to  search terms from searchers.  But don’t stuff keywords.

If your blogs are on products having some business value, you can think of providing more information like features, prices etc.  This will make them more appealing adding some brand value also.

HOW IS META DESCRIPTION GOING TO IMPACT INDIAN BLOGGERS?

I have previously mentioned in my post that Google sometimes provides lengthy descriptions depending upon the length of the search query. Google is responding to Search queries with usual description length of four to six-word phrases having meta description length of 155 to 165 characters.  No such changes as above were noticed of late in this part of the world, that is in India. I am supporting my stand with my findings. An online meta description length checker was used to ascertain if the description was extended.

A randomly selected snippet as shown above.

The snippet, description when used in the checker shows that it has 169 characters thereby showing that the description is way lesser than 275 characters.

We were eagerly awaiting a change of this sort.  However, its restricted access in the world is taking a heavy toll on the community.

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