Earlier this week, Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed that the average description length on Google is not much shorter than it was with Google’s 300 characters experiment. The current average snippet length is 160 characters on desktop and 130 characters on mobile.
Google gave some further information on why they changed the snippet length
On Twitter, Google’s John Mueller explained why the search result snippets are shorter now. Basically, Google is testing different things and they use the results that work best for them.
The search results UI is a very dynamic place, seeing changes there is not unexpected. Like on your own sites, it's also important to us to keep testing, improving, trying out new things to see what works best for users on our pages.— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) May 14, 2018
Yeah, I get that. The search results UI is pretty constantly changing though, so IMO it's normal to see these things evolve over time, maybe even reverting or perhaps becoming more variable where it might make sense.— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) May 14, 2018
Just get to the point
Google still shows search results with longer snippets. Especially for non-commercial queries, there are some longer snippet descriptions on the result page. The length of result snippets is dynamic.
It’s not important how many characters your meta description has. It is important that your meta description gets to the point. Write short and concise meta descriptions that make people click on your result on the search results page. Google’s Danny Sullivan confirms this:
Snippets are dynamically generated, vary in length, don't always use meta description tag. Giving people a count, in our view, makes them obsess over numbers & not helpful. Our advice is "short, relevant summary of what a particular page is about." We think that's the best guide.— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) May 14, 2018
It's also not speaking to any lowest common denominator. That's our best advice to everyone. Write short, concise meta descriptions that you think best describe your pages. Don't fixate on a count, whether your beginner or pro.— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) May 15, 2018
Although there is no maximum snippet length, it might be a good idea to limit your meta descriptions to 130 characters if you want to be sure that the full description gets displaye on Google’s result pages. Remember that Google will only show the meta description of the page if it is relevant to the search query.
Optimize your meta descriptions
Among many other things, the website audit tool in SEOprofiler checks the meta descriptions on your web pages. The website audit tool helps you to optimize many elements of your web pages. You can create your free account here: