Significant changes are afoot in the SEO arena after Google announced that they would double their snippet length from 160-180 characters to 250-320.
The snippet—the text that appears under your website’s link on the Google search engine results page—is essentially the first (and sometimes only) chance you have to grab a reader’s attention and get that click. So, what exactly should be focused on in the metadata now that this change is being rolled out?
First, it should be understood that any meta description that is given as a guide for Google will not necessarily be honored. The search engine company has various algorithms and metrics in place to decide whether or not to use your description – in the end, Google may just parse the site in order to present what it feels to be the best description.
The length of this text is not guaranteed either. Sure, 320 characters may be the new “maximum”, but Google will also let its artificial intelligence determine the exact length it wants to present to users.
The way forward
The official word from Google is that there is no real reason to alter meta descriptions if a webmaster feels that the site’s current ones are meeting their clients’ needs. But, just as with every Google change, there will definitely be an opportunity for quick-thinking sites to capitalize on the snippet extension, enabling them to gain more real estate on the SERPs so that some of the competition may be pushed further down or out of view.
It might also be that the truly astute will be able to leverage their snippet just right to gain even a few characters more due to the aforementioned auto-extension that seems to be in place. However, Google wants everyone to know that there is no need to rush and change anything – and sometimes with Google, it’s good to let some dust settle before jumping in.
Steps you can take
One of the best ways to bring in traffic is to have something unique on the page that they simply cannot find on any of the other sites that are ranking similarly for that query. If you can offer something that the competition cannot, and can convey that through a thorough description, then the chances of getting more traffic coming your way is better than ever.
Take a look at what people are searching for and how can you incorporate this into your meta descriptions. It may take some finessing at first to flesh out those extra 75-ish characters or so, but as long as you have intentions of putting your company’s best foot forward, you’ll have nothing to worry about!
Take a look at what pages you have that are currently ranking and consider lengthening their meta descriptions to give yourself a little more visibility compared to your competition.
Should you be worried?
No, of course not! As Google says, there is no need to do anything drastic, since the fundamentals of writing a snippet for the search engine hasn’t changed at all. Aim to grab users’ attention with the same insightful, helpful, and precise descriptions you were using before – only now you have just a little more play room.
If you’re unsure of how to edit your meta descriptions, what to write, or how to get the most out of your Google snippets, just give us a call! Our experts love discussing and navigating the frequently changing Google landscape with our clients, and we’d be more than happy to improve your Albuquerque SEO—or anywhere else in the nation!
You can reach out to us by email, phone (505-503-6910), or chat with us right now in the bottom right hand corner!