Google has now expanded the search snippets to 320 characters according to Google’s Danny Sullivan. But, the word on the street is to NOT expand the standard 160 meta description tag to 320 characters.
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The expansion to 320 characters pulls from both the meta description tag and other text on the webpage that may be of interest or help to visitors. Google is saying some of this content is dynamically generated.
According to Search Engine Roundtable, “Google is telling webmasters to not go ahead and change their meta descriptions. Danny wrote ‘don’t go expanding your meta description tags.’ He said the longer snippets are ‘more a dynamic process’ Google automatically makes based on the content on that page and your query.”
The additional information per listing is intended to help people find more of what they are looking for in one place rather than jumping from one webpage to the next in search of the product, service or info they seek.
So the trend this holiday season is more characters. Twitter has gone from 140 to 280 characters and now Google has gone from 160 to 320. Who could be next?