If you haven’t given your title and description meta tags some love lately, it might be a good thing you procrastinated… there are new title and description lengths in the Google Search Results. Google has increased the width of the search results for nearly all users (although they could roll it back at any time).
For reference, the space used for the organic search results is now 600 pixels wide, compared to the old 500 pixels.
The new title length is 70 characters before Google will truncate the title with ellipses (…). This is an increase of 10-15 characters, which is pretty significant. It can go up to at least 71 characters, depending on the letters used, since l and i are small characters.
Depending on the length of the words, that is an additional 2-4 words that can be added to the title tag. Or some sites that are happy with their title tag could add their site name to the end instead.
Of course, as with any SEO changes, you will want to monitor CTR of old titles versus new ones, but don’t forget that there are many other outside factors that affect CTR, including that in some results, each organic result will be higher up on the page, and some that were below the fold may be above it.
Here is an example coming in right at 70 characters.
And another coming in at 71.
Added: Mobile has also increased their title tag length and it is even longer than desktop titles.
Descriptions have also increased by about 16-20 characters per line. The new description length per line is 100 characters.
However (important!) Google is still truncated the descriptions for many search results. This means that the overall description is only displaying 150-160 characters total right now, for a usual 2 line snippet. So here is how they currently appear:
I would expect that Google would adjust their search results to allow for longer overall descriptions, instead of the current situation where the second line is only using just over half the line space when compared to the first line.
We are also seeing descriptions that were 100 characters or less simply showing up with a single description line in the search results.
If you have some “short but sweet” search results that are under 100 characters, you will want to pay attention to those, since they will reduce your result’s footprint in the search results.
For those with three line snippets, they are currently 278 characters per line.
These new changes will definitely make it nicer for SEOs were were struggling within the title constraints and could use those extra 10-15 characters for their titles. But do keep in mind, Google could roll back the changes to the search results width, and these character counts could vary for non-English character languages.
Length for Titles & Descriptions in the Google Search Results
|Search Result Area||Size|
|Title Tag in Characters||71 Characters|
|Title Tag in Pixels (Most Accurate)||600 Pixels|
|Description in Characters||100 Characters|
|Description in Pixels||1200 Pixels|
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Is this is UK aswell? I’m not seeing longer titles?
Wonderful news. Thanks.
Lorraine Reguly says
I have a hard time believing this means anything at all, because several things I have written are ranked on the first page of Google search.
For example, look at my title for the post I wrote on the Liebster award.
It goes way beyond 65 or 71 characters, and has sat IN THE #1 POSITION for years.
(Do me a favor… Search for Liebster award… and tell me which position my post shows up in. My site is Wording Well.)
If you ask me, Google just loves honesty and seems to be like a real person listening to what you write. EVERY WORD. Not just keywords and long tail phrases!
People need to remember that when writing for the search engines!
Sukh Singh says
HI Jennifer, et al,
I have run loads of SERP tests on Google UK and they are all 70 chars too for title tag, do we have any indication whether this may become permanent at all or is it still a test? Cant seem to find any official, or unofficial confirmation of either.