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Mike Friedman

Google increases search snippets to 320 characters in SERPs

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Not that surprising, given Twitters recent move to 240 characters - while seemingly unrelated, it makes sense...

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In a predictable move, there are already people complaining that this is a move to take up more space, put less organic results on page one, and make ads a larger percentage of what shows up on the first page. 

Of course, in every example I have seen so far, there are still 10 organic results, but nobody should ever let facts get in the way of their rant. Also, even if Google did that... oh my god... the horror. How dare they monetize their own platform.

 

 

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On 12/5/2017 at 4:58 PM, discrat said:

Yeah Mike it should make no difference. Anyone who largely relies on Organic traffic for their business is building it on sand ,imo

I would totally disagree with that. It's no different than basing your traffic off of any other source. Facebook, Twitter, AdWords, YouTube, any forum on the planet, etc. could all pretty much disappear almost overnight.

Unless you are doing something dumb, the chances of you disappearing from Google is pretty slim in my opinion.

 

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One thing that is kind of odd about this change is that they are not consistently showing longer snippets, and I do not just mean in the different SERPs.

Within the same SERP, some listings are short and some are long like this one:

https://www.google.com/search?ei=yGA6WrvpJYWIggfhjbGwBg&q=home+remedies+for+a+hangover&oq=home+remedies+for+a+hangover&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0j0i22i30k1l9.6759.8245.0.8428.11.10.0.0.0.0.237.1056.0j6j1.7.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..4.7.1055....0.ZtKjPiT2zcs

And it is not because some pages have entered longer descriptions and some have not. Google is not using the actual meta description for most of these results.

Not sure what is making them choose to use a longer description in some cases, and not in others.

 

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I followed the link John provided and looked at a couple of the sites - the shorter snippet is coming from the meta description, while the longer ones are coming from the article content. 

Just hazarding a guess, but the shorter snippets are coming from pages that are poorly structured, while the longer snippets are more HTML5 and clearly structured. At a glance, the shorter snippets are using BootStrap or similar frameworks and making it really difficult for Google to identify the content. 

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27 minutes ago, BIG Mike said:

I followed the link John provided and looked at a couple of the sites - the shorter snippet is coming from the meta description, while the longer ones are coming from the article content. 

Just hazarding a guess, but the shorter snippets are coming from pages that are poorly structured, while the longer snippets are more HTML5 and clearly structured. At a glance, the shorter snippets are using BootStrap or similar frameworks and making it really difficult for Google to identify the content. 

can it be that the shorter snippets are on pages that the author created the snippet. the longer ones are pulled from the pages. by google i assume?or are we saying the same thing?

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7 hours ago, JohnHemmer said:
 

John, you trying to tell us something about your night last evening?

 

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On 12/20/2017 at 8:10 AM, JohnHemmer said:

One thing that is kind of odd about this change is that they are not consistently showing longer snippets, and I do not just mean in the different SERPs.

Within the same SERP, some listings are short and some are long like this one:

https://www.google.com/search?ei=yGA6WrvpJYWIggfhjbGwBg&q=home+remedies+for+a+hangover&oq=home+remedies+for+a+hangover&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0j0i22i30k1l9.6759.8245.0.8428.11.10.0.0.0.0.237.1056.0j6j1.7.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..4.7.1055....0.ZtKjPiT2zcs

And it is not because some pages have entered longer descriptions and some have not. Google is not using the actual meta description for most of these results.

Not sure what is making them choose to use a longer description in some cases, and not in others.

 

 

It's interesting how the four shorter descriptions are grouped at the bottom of the search page.

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On 1/20/2018 at 7:04 PM, yukon said:

It's interesting how the four shorter descriptions are grouped at the bottom of the search page.

I didn't see that - the first listing was a short one (see the screenshot) and on subsequent searches, the results seem to be pretty well mixed up regardless of description length. 

I checked half a dozen pages with short descriptions and these were all taken from the meta description tag, because the page itself either had no tangible content or the content repeated what was in the meta description. 

I also checked four pages with longer descriptions - these didn't use a meta description and had real content on the page, which is where the descriptions were taken from. 

A couple of others I checked had meta descriptions that were related, but different from the actual content, which is where the descriptions were taken from. 

 

 

image.png

 

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We're obviously seeing different SERPs, even with a tracking URL in this thread.

Doesn't matter either way, canned meta descriptions don't usually target the majority of queries (lower CTR). In most situations no meta description tag is better and then coach Google into using on page text for each query. This way gives you dozens of SERP descriptions for one money page instead of one static description.

 

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I sure hope everyone did not go rewriting all of their meta descriptions.

There are people losing their minds over this. I have read some stories about some SEOs going and rewriting a few thousand meta descriptions on pages to try to take advantage of the longer length. Oops.

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I never use a static meta description anyways, doesn't even exist in my HTML.

IMO static meta descriptions are one step above static meta keyword tags. Waste of time when you can get better results by optimizing the content for multiple search queries (per page).

Lmao at Danny + Google, that still cracks me up. Ole boy's getting paid.

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