Google Extends Search Results Snippets To Max 320 Characters

Dec 4, 2017 • 8:05 am | comments (35) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Snippets

Google has officially extended the search results snippets to a maximum character length of 320 characters. They confirmed with me late on Friday saying:

We recently made a change to provide more descriptive and useful snippets, to help people better understand how pages are relevant to their searches. This resulted in snippets becoming slightly longer, on average.

What are snippets? The description line under the clickable title and URL in the search results page:

Google Snippets

Danny Sullivan, now at Google, also confirmed it on Twitter:

Google is telling webmasters to not go ahead and change their meta descriptions. Danny wrote "don't go expanding your meta description tags." He said the longer snippets are "more a dynamic process" Google automatically makes based on the content on that page and your query.

How long can those snippets be? Danny said a maximum of 320 characters. I believe the example above in the screen shot is a maximum of 307 characters but it can go longer says Danny.

Google has not yet made a statement about if they have changed their commendations for writing meta descriptions. Danny referenced a previous tweet from John Mueller of Google who said not to really make changes:

We will see - but now, don't be surprised to see longer snippets. It is not just a test anymore.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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