Earlier this month, it was discovered that Google had made two changes to their search engine results pages (SERPs). Naturally, a lot of excitement, panic, and confusion followed. The truth is that the changes are relatively minor, but you should still take a moment to read this post so you fully understand them.
You Can Now Create Longer Titles and Descriptions
Google is now allowing title tags that are between 70 and 71 characters, up from its previous limit of 50 to 60 characters. In most cases, this should allow you another word or two in these tags.
Meta descriptions are now given another 100 characters per line and three lines in total (up from two). This is a much bigger increase than the title tags, which shows Google is looking for content creators to really sell users on their pages right from the SERPs.
What These Changes Mean for SEO
The big question, of course, is how will this affect SEO?
At the moment, it doesn’t look like any SERPs have changed much since this update, but there are three possible takeaways as far as SEO goes:
- Go Long with Titles and Descriptions – Again, Google has made it clear this is something they value, so take the opportunity whenever possible to provide more info to the user.
- Older Content Should Be Revised – Go back and create better titles and descriptions (without changing the original URL).
- Reassess CTR – Click-through-rate should always be a priority, but now that you’ll be using longer titles and descriptions, you’ll want to experiment to see what works best for your site.
Keep in mind that this may not be a permanent change. Google is constantly testing new ideas. Still, it’s worth noting that Google clearly appreciates better, more descriptive titles/descriptions in their SERPs. Even if this change doesn’t last, it’s worth it to take a little extra time on these two areas going forward.
Quality Content and SEO
Anytime Google changes something to do with their algorithm, the world of online marketing often responds with plenty of baseless conjecture. While it’s definitely important to know about the change, this news shouldn’t have you reconsidering your entire approach to driving traffic.
In the end, SEO is still most influenced by quality content. Therefore, just like you should be posting blogs with information that will truly help your readers, titles and descriptions should be accurate and informative. Now you just have more space to do both. Keep the reader’s best interest in mind and this new change – if it stays – won’t have to mean any major changes on your end.