Search Engine Optimization

Google´s Snippets up to 320 Characters

Google make a recent change in search results snippets; they have incorporated more characters so they can show up to 320 of them and, in some cases, even more than that.

So far, it was known that Google offered to show up 160 characters, however, after this change, many people are trying to figure out how this is going to modify researching, especially when using Yoast SEO.

For the time being, until they can think of any other plan and get more information about the purpose of Google changes, Yoast would give an orange bullet if meta description length exceeds 320 characters instead of the green one that was being used.

New Differences

The first noticeable modification is, of course, the length of the search result snippets. The featured snippet is the same as the snippet for blog posts. They have a shorter meta description, but Google would select information randomly from the page and shows that instead.

meta-description

Why it really changed?

It might be important to highlight that the paragraphs are optimized for ranking the featured snippets. Actually, it might be concluded that it was the reason why it was optimized. If one pays close attention, it can be seen how all those featured snippets have used in the pages, showing them in the regular search results.

One of the hypothesis is that Google selects the “core paragraph” for a particular search query within an article and then displays it as the snippet. It might help readability and writing. Still, there is a question about how meta description would be shown. One possibility is that it could be done if the meta description involves the searched-for keyword. Besides, it should match Google’s  new boundaries because it might favor keyword dense paragraphs from the copy of meta description. The second one would be related to deleting the meta description to lead to much better snippets

Impact on Expected Results

It might be expected, because of longer snippets, to have the CTR of the search results to drop a bit. However, the answer might be found easy, and you might not need to click onwards.

For Yoast, it would be fine if people can find the answers in the search results, if that is the case, the branding value will rise above the chances for a person to become a customer in just one click.

Accepting the Changes

At Yoast, they are trying to provide the best feedback possible on the customers ´writing, and this also would include a complete feedback on meta description. What is more, the feedback should be based on facts which are being analyzed. For example:

  1. “A group of posts that will get a longer meta description, in which we’ll use the keyword only once.”
  2. “A set of posts that will get a longer meta description. We’ll use the keyword multiple times, evenly distributed across the meta description.”
  3. “A group of posts for which we’ll delete the meta description completely.”
  4. “Posts that will keep their old, handcrafted, shorter, meta description and will act as our control group.”

The results would be analyzed by the research team, and they would probably run some more test on their sites to improve its work. Posts by the SEO companies on this particular topics are being updated so to inform people as much as they can.

Yoast SEO Modifications

In order to do the best practices, it is necessary to modify certain aspects, as a consequence, character limits for meta description are set up to 320. More changes are about to be made depending on the research results being analyzed.