Google has confirmed there is still no fixed length for search snippets, though snippets have been shorter on average compared to recent weeks.
This topic was addressed by Google’s Danny Sullivan in response to a number of SEOs who have been noticing shorter snippets in search results as of late.
”Our search snippets are now shorter on average than in recent weeks, though slightly longer than before a change we made last December. There is no fixed length for snippets. Length varies based on what our systems deem to be most useful.”
Google extended the potential length of search snippets back in December, though never once stated there is either a maximum length, a fixed length, or even a recommended length.
The length of search snippets are dynamic, and may be shorter or longer depending on the query.
Some SEOs are upset after having invested time into writing longer meta descriptions. Sullivan reiterates that Google was clear from the beginning there was no need to change meta description tags.
I am checking on it. But we were very clear there was no need for people to change meta description tags, when we were asked specifically about this: https://t.co/l6VPzUvA6c pic.twitter.com/fRiIgXuUr6
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) May 13, 2018
When it comes to writing meta descriptions, ask yourself: If I was a searcher, would I be compelled to click on this search result?
Don’t get caught up on character counts. All you can do is aim for being as useful and concise as possible. Google will ultimately display what it wants as a meta description.