Google Increases Titles and Meta Descriptions Length

By joanne on May 18, 2016

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Google Increases Title & Meta Description Length

In case you haven’t noticed, Google has made significant changes to the titles and meta descriptions length on the Google Search Results. More characters for both titles and meta descriptions are displayed in the search results now compared to the previous weeks.

What Are The Changes?

The first noticeable change would be the space of Google Search Results. To compare it with before Google made the changes, the latest search results is now 600 pixels wide, which is about 100 pixels wider.

Before:

Google Increases Titles and Meta Descriptions Length

After:

Google Increases Titles and Meta Descriptions Length

This is not the only changes that we’ve noticed. Let’s look into more detailed on the other prominent changes.

Desktop

All these years, we have been writing our titles with no more than 55-60 characters. Today, Google has finally made some changes and increased the titles to 70-71 characters. I know, it doesn’t seem much, but at least you can still fit in another word or two in your title, which will make a difference.

But if you’re already happy with your current title, you can choose to add your site name at the end of the title for branding purpose.

Although the titles are longer now, you’ll still need to monitor the traffic and click-through rate (CTR) of your old titles compared to the new ones as it will affect your SEO. The organic results for your site will probably be higher or lower as well, which is why you have to keep things in check.

If you still can’t really see the differences yet, let me show you.

Here, I have a screenshot of the title before Google make the changes:

Google Increases Titles and Meta Descriptions Length

Google only shows 54 characters of this title, and truncate the rest of it.

And this is what happens after Google make the changes:

Google Increases Titles and Meta Descriptions Length

Google displays the entire title on the search results, which has 63 characters.

Not only Google has increased the length of the titles to be displayed, the meta descriptions showed some changes too.

When writing meta descriptions, we tend to keep it between 150-160 characters because Google usually truncate snippets that are longer than 160 characters. Besides, Google used to display only 2 lines of meta descriptions on their search results page. Just like this:

Google Increases Titles and Meta Descriptions Length

But look at what I’ve found today:

Google Increases Titles and Meta Descriptions Length

There’s a total of 222 characters for the meta description in this snippet, and none of the words is truncated.

This has once again proven that Google did some changes to their search results page. And Google not only made changes on the desktop titles. The titles and meta descriptions on mobile search have also increased and is even longer than the desktop.

Mobile

Google has increased the length of mobile titles from about 55-60 characters to 78 characters. So now the titles on mobile search have 7-8 characters more than the desktop titles.

The same goes to the meta descriptions. Mobile search used to have lesser room for meta descriptions than a desktop site, with a maximum of 130 characters. But if you search for a particular topic on mobile now, you’ll see that the meta descriptions have extended.

Let’s take a look at an example from the mobile search results.

Google Increases Titles and Meta Descriptions Length

Currently, the title displayed on mobile has 72 characters, and meta descriptions have 172 characters, which are longer than previously.

Comparing it to the titles and meta descriptions on desktop:

Google Increases Titles and Meta Descriptions Length

The same blog post; but Google only displayed 69 characters of the title and 144 characters of the meta description.

With these changes that we noticed on mobile search results, we think that it may be worth it to optimize your title tags for mobile if you have more visitors from mobile than desktop.

It is definitely interesting seeing Google adding the extra characters to both titles and meta descriptions in the desktop and mobile searches. But the decision on whether to increase the titles and meta descriptions length is still up to you.

Our Thoughts?

These new changes may not be a bad thing, especially for those who were struggling within the title constraints. Furthermore, more characters equal to more keywords that we can include in our titles and meta descriptions for it to be displayed in Google search results. Who knows it can lead us to a better ranking, right?

However, these changes are still new and Google could still change their search results again. Since this is the age of A/B testing, we can’t be sure if these changes are temporary or permanent until Google announces it. But it is a good sign for us to be aware and take note of what’s currently happening in the industry.

If these changes are for real, will SEOPressor update the plugin?

Google Increases Titles and Meta Descriptions Length

Will SEOPressor update the plugin to adapt to the changes that Google made?

Well, we will observe these changes for another couple of weeks and see how it goes. If this stays, we will definitely update SEOPressor to better reflect the current state of SERPs so that our users can get ranked easily.

What do you think of the latest changes that Google made? Do leave a comment down below and share your thoughts with us!

[Update 28/07/2016]: SEOPressor is now updated to accommodate these changes. To download the latest version 6.1, please visit: http://seopressor.com/upgrade-seopressor.

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Updated: 25 June 2017

Joanne

About Joanne

Joanne is an aspiring copywriter with an obsession for SEO. Curiosity is her motivation, love and life are her inspiration. She also enjoys reading fiction and contemporary as much as mac and cheese.

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