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Google: Search Snippets Are Now Shorter on Average

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Matt Southern
Matt Southern SEJ STAFF
Google: Search Snippets Are Now Shorter on Average

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.

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.

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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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