Google shortens Search Results Snippets: How to cope?

Google Shortens Snippets | clicksdailyPhoto by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash


Almost 15 articles ago we found out that Google introduced long format snippets and we were delighted. We could now add more information while adding meta description and our readers could get a better insight into clicksdaily webpages.

Now after almost 6 months, this change has been reverted.

How does that impact our content in the long run we do not know, but we are constantly trying to work around Google’s updates so that our website is well optimized.

As a practice, we keep updating and optimizing over and over again to make sure we fall under Google’s expectations. But by the end, it’s very overwhelming as it feels like a futile exercise.

Danny Sullivan of Google said that there is no fixed length for snippets. It varies and is generated dynamically.

Danny Sullivan’s Confirmation | Google Shortens Snippets
The question is; should you re-optimize all the pages you optimised with long meta descriptions? Is that going to have any impact?

We did a little research of our own and read analysis on other sites just to validate our own findings. Here we present some points that will relieve you of any apprehensions regarding the ever changing updates from our beloved Google.

Focus on Quality of Description than Quantity

Looking at analysis from other pages and what officials are saying, Google will not give so much importance to the length of your meta descriptions. Most pages don’t even follow this.

What Google will always give importance to is the quality and relevance of your meta description.

If you think you can achieve that in 100 or 150 characters then stick to it from now on. And, if in the last months you’ve added longer metas then there is no need to go and revert to shorter descriptions. (You’ll understand why, very soon.)

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Don’t Waste Time Rewriting Descriptions

If new changes were going to impact your SEO negatively Google would’ve announced it. Just like they didn’t say it was going to impact your pages positively when they increased the characters of snippets back in December.

Truth be told, this affect may not be permanent and looks more like testing and learning. If you were to go back and re-optimize your descriptions, you’ll be wasting a lot of valuable time.

Sometimes snippets are also picked up dynamically and from within the content of the page. It’s not always in your control. Therefore, the first point of focusing on quantity more than quality is the key to successfully coping with these unpredictable changes from Google.

If you have a small business which has a huge potential and you need professional help with SEO, then I highly recommend Deluxe. They work with the likes of Google, Yahoo & AmEx.

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Set a Fixed Limit & Style for Your Snippets

One reason why most pages stand out is because they define the content of their pages in the most crisp and relevant manner.

You should always try to think of telling the story of your page within 200 characters or less.

If you work like that, you’ll always have the most important information in the first 150-200 characters. You’ll build a style & character limit for metas on your website. As a matter of fact, you’ll stick to quality and a character length that will not get affected with these kind of changes.

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