Google’s innovations do cause concerns for webmasters sometimes, which is why companies offering healthcare SEO services would have to address client concerns over Google’s reported title snippet length reduction. We all know the importance of title tags and Meta descriptions in enabling users to decide the kind of website it is, as it appears in the search listings.
Title Snippet Character Length Reduced by Around 5
Search Engine Roundtable reports, as per data from Rank Ranger, that Google has reduced the length of title snippets to 50.9 characters from 55.3, on average. The graph below by Rank Ranger depicts it:
(Img link: https://www.seroundtable.com/google-shortens-title-tag-length-28224.html)
This change seems to have been made to title snippets appearing in the desktop search results alone. Now it’s true that the title snippet length depends on various factors. But what Rank Ranger has reported deals with the average title length that seems to have dropped.
Rankings Not Likely to Be Affected
Now rankings aren’t likely to change because of this. And Google had already made it quite clear back in May 2018, when a reduction in snippet length caused widespread discussion among webmasters, that there isn’t any fixed length on snippets in terms of a character count. Google’s Danny Sullivan stated that he would never give a recommended count because webmasters would then shift their focus from the content to the count, and Google didn’t want that.
Looking Back at Snippet Length Changes of the Past
In fact the reduction in snippet length in 2018 came after an increase back in December 2017. So clearly there is something Google considers important in terms of snippet length, but still keeps insisting it has never given any directive to webmasters to focus on a length for snippets.
So, considering what Google said back then, a change in the title snippet length won’t necessarily cause your rankings to be altered, though the click through rate (CTR) could be impacted. And if that’s a factor, you might want to consider making changes to your snippet though Google doesn’t specifically recommend that.
Google’s Final Word on Snippet Length Changes
During that snippet shortening in 2018, Danny Sullivan advised confused webmasters to check the Search Engine Land article detailing the fundamentals of meta descriptions and how they don’t change just with a change in snippet length. So a look back at that could be worth it.
Google decides the search result snippet on the basis on what the user enters in the search box and also the content you have on your page. If you feel your meta description tags are satisfactory in how effectively they reveal your page’s contents to the user, then you don’t need to change them just with Google’s decision to change the character count. That should be the deciding factor, since meta descriptions influence the decision of the user to either click the link or move on to other searches – the click through rate. Since it doesn’t affect the search rankings, Google recommends webmasters not to lose their sleep over the changes Google keeps bringing from time to time to the snippets.
Healthcare practices that have outsourced SEO and website development to reliable health content marketing companies can get a clear perspective on these changes without having to press the panic button.