Meta titles and descriptions have always been used by Google to help searchers learn more about a page before they click through. As internet marketers, we have always worked to a limit of characters and even number of pixels within meta titles and descriptions, ensuring a persuasive snippet is effective at pushing click through within 156 characters and contains relevant key words.
Google’s Search Console has recently become a popular topic within the digital marketing industry as it has come to light that they have updated the character allowance for meta titles and descriptions on organic search results. The new allowance for snippets and site descriptions are estimated to allow up to 320 characters, almost double of what we are used to.
This may sound like good news for all SEOers out there. However, many speculations have led us to believe that this is merely a feature Google is currently A/B testing in order to gauge usability and functionality for the future version of their search engine results pages. Many of the longer descriptions found under the results you are seeing look to be dynamically inserted by Google based on crawl data and page information rather than from the efforts of SEO professionals. Nevertheless, this isn’t to say there is no reason to try it yourself and push a longer description to a blog article to view the results.
Whilst the A/B test continues webmasters, bloggers and news sites can take advantage of the change by extending their descriptions to accommodate more information and those all-important relevant keywords to better their ranking probability.
In terms of the long run, Google may not keep this change or even allow their algorithms to reward those pages with longer descriptions. So, in the end, we are happy to see these changes and we think that the long meta titles and descriptions benefit the searcher, providing them with a greater volume of information about a page before they click.