Google Expanding Meta Descriptions

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October 4, 2012 // Search Engines, seo

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!

Matt Ridout

About the author

My name is Matt Ridout, I've been working in digital marketing for 9 years; worked for agencies and currently Head of SEO at fashion startup called Farfetch. Try to test my own theories.

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