Today Google has began to roll out a new layout to its Search Results, widening the main results column from 500 pixels to 600 pixels – which impacts everything that Google displays such as Adwords, Featured Snippets and local packs!
Interestingly the amount of Whitespace between the results and the features in the right sidebar has decreased from 65 pixels to 60.
Boost For Organic Results
The increase in the column width is good news for Organic SEO results, especially those which are were pushed lower down the page since the shift to display four paid Ads at the top of the results. The additional width available means that some featured items in the Search Results will take up less height and multi-line listings could end up fitting on less lines, pushing the organic results higher up on the page than they were previously.
SEO Page Title & Description Length
The additional width available allows for longer page titles to be used. Google will now display around 70 characters (compared to 55-60 previously) before adding the ellipses…
Page Descriptions has increased by about 16-20 characters per line, with the new description length per line being 100 characters. It appears as though this is still being tweaked by Google as only around half of the second line is being utalised, for now you have around 150-160 characters available to you. It’s worth noting that if your page description is under 100 characters it will fit on one line, meaning that the amount of real estate your website will secure in the results is less than it would have previously enjoyed, so lengthen any short Meta Descriptions!
Eventhough the width has increased, the amount of characters being displayed is about the same as it was previously. The good news for the Organic Results though is that the additional width means that the overall height of the snippet is reduced, quite often by a line or two. Also more of the Page Title is displayed beneath the snippet compared to the previous version.
The Local Maps are wider and are currently shifting between two different looks. One containing information such as Reviews and another being a more sleek, with reduced information. It will be interesting to see which version Google settles on, the shorter, sleeker version will be good news for the Organic results.
If you think its about time your Page Titles & Descriptions had some attention, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do for you!