Google Expanding Meta Descriptions

Google UK seems to be testing SERP layouts again; this time the Meta description seems to be impacted, I’ve seen listings move from the typical 2 lines of description to 3 and 4 lines per listing, note the example below:

Now Google has actually shown these kind of results for quite some time now but typically only get displayed when you type a phrase that is very long tail, like: buy seo services in the london area of soho for cheap. However I’ve never seen 4 lines of text before, which actually moves from around 158 characters to 324.

Above you can again see examples of both 3 and 4 lines of a Meta description being displayed for the same search query “tom cruise films”. From what I can see this is only being triggered for movie/film related queries but what’s interesting is that it’s for more generic keywords – imagine if this gets rolled out everywhere, the number of organic listings above the page fold would most likely be only 2!

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