How Long Should My Meta Description Be?

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How Long Should My Meta Description Be?

As of late, we have seen a bit of information coming out, saying that Google is now taking 300 character meta descriptions and displaying them in search results. This could potentially be a massive gamechanger for specific reasons. In regard to SEO, it means that we have more room to fit keyword-rich content and more opportunity to incorporate geolocation, as well as our brand. This being said, does it really matter that Google is not accepting 300 character meta descriptions? The short answer is no.
While Google has confirmed this, there have been quite a few inconsistencies that make us believe this is not as huge of a deal as it is being made out to be. The data seems to show that on average, Google is essentially splitting meta descriptions are two points, including 100-125 characters and 300-325 characters. This being said, Google essentially has control over what is shown as a meta description anyways, so these averages are pretty much obsolete.
One of the most strange snippets being shown is in relation to video. The descriptions are being cut off prematurely in comparison to what we have seen in the past (about 160 characters). This being said, there are some that show as almost 4 lines, which is almost double compared to the 160 in the past. Once again, Google can show whatever they want, as they try to match the meta description to the page content as much as possible, and sometimes these rewrites can be excerpts from the page, resulting in this longer description, which is another reason to make sure your content is keyword-rich.

So, 160 or 300?

The answer is a bit more complicated, but it is really up to you. With the 160, you are playing it as a safe bet, but if you did want to risk it and go for 300 characters, you could potentially rank higher and gain better keyword authority… if your meta description doesn’t get cut off of course.

Deven O'Gryzek
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