The changing world of displaying search results
Such as is the general nature of technology and the digital world, changes are always happening and these have to be both expected and accepted. In terms of SEO, PPC, and Social media, there doesn’t seem to be a week that goes by without some tweak or modification occurring.
Search results and the way they are displayed have generally remained quite static. That said, there have been some minor recent additions which although may not have changed things drastically, have been enough for people to notice a difference. A perfect example is one we reported on previously, where paid adverts were given the highest priority – above organic – on the top of the search results page (click the link to see our posting on this.)
We can now report on further additions which have recently been added to the list. In this blog post we will explore what has been altered.
The main changes to be reported this time are the title and description panes.
The old title character length came in at around 55-60 characters long but now this has been increased to 70 (or possibly even a fraction more if ‘smaller letters’ are appearing in the title.) In practical terms this is on average an allowance of an extra three words per title. This can come in very handy – instead of having to omit words from the title so it can fit in, the extra grace may now help to form something complete.
Description boxes have also seen an increase of around 15 to 20 letters/numbers per box. This also amounts to an addition of a few extra words. As description boxes are often more explanatory than title ones, they tend to require more wording, therefore this will certainly help.
There is a ‘BUT’ here though!
Although the length has been increased it does not appear it has been increased on the search display (to start with anyway.) I.e. The text is still cut off at the original length in the description pane box – around 150 to 160 characters. It would seem a fairly safe bet that the changes actually come into force or it would be pointless announcing this in the first place!
In both of the above cases if your title or description texts are short then you may want to think about changing them or adding extra words to bulk them out. If your panes appear shorter than your competitors, you perhaps run the risk of becoming less noticeable and possibly missing out.
Whether this is a trial or here to stay is not currently clear. If you do decide to make changes then keep a ‘watch this space’ note somewhere. Google may decide to revert back or even change again although we are sure that constant changes will be frowned upon by the wider community, as continuity and consistency become eroded away.
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