Meta Descriptions are the snippets that appear just below the URL in SERP(Search Engine Result Page). From the very beginning we learn about the character limit of meta description tag in On-Page SEO optimization.
Obviously that, 160 to 180 characters. This is what Google displays in SERP, and truncates more than that.
This is was something obvious, till the recent update by Google. Now what change is spoted, i.e. character limit of the meta description has increased to approx. 300 characters.
Prior to mid-November all meta descriptions for any keyword resulted to be in 165 character limit.
From early December 2017, an increase in description character count has been spoted. This increase is around 265 characters. Right now there are chance that you might see descriptions of 200 – 300 characters.
So the change that happened here is that Google updated basically two things. One, they updated the snippet length, and two, they updated their guidelines around it.
Google had historic guidelines that said, well, you want to keep your meta description tag between about 160 and 180 characters. I think that was the number. They’ve updated that to where they say there’s no official meta description recommended length. But on Twitter, Danny Sullivan said that he would probably not make that greater than 320 characters.
When this happen? It all started around mid-November. SISTRIX’s database started noticing the increase in character limit of description in SERP’s on 22nd of November 2017.
If this change has been made, its obvious that it is going to effecting SEO in some manner. Let’s have a look How?
It is giving a chance to explain and elaborate your title of page with increased character limit. More elaborated explanation for your page title, will increase relevancy factor. This relevancy factor is anyhow helping you to gain some rankings.
CTR may get a hike, as more elaborated description can make a trust. This trust can be a reason for a click to the URL.
CTR may see a decrease, if a user get all its required solution in that 300 characters. It might be possible for some of queries that they give an answer to that within 300 characters. This leads to less chance of clicks on that URL.
Followed by a loss in CTR (Click Through Rate), a loss in rankings can be seen. As in past times CTR has played a great role in rankings.
After this much discussion on increased character limit of meta description, the only feasible and best thing to do is updating description with 260 – 300 characters.
You can’t ignore because your competitors are not ignoring…!
Best of Luck with your new meta descriptions and new year..!