How important is Google's meta description character count?
 by Kristi Hagen

How important is Google's meta description character count?

  • A while back Google said they could use up to 330 characters in a webpage's meta description, but then I heard they wound it back to 165?

    Now I'm worried my meta descriptions are too long and something that Google might penalize me for.

    Can you please clarify the ideal character count and perhaps shed some light on what exactly Google is looking for in meta descriptions when pulling snippets to describe our pages within search?


Don't worry, the longer meta descriptions are not a problem. Google's meta description character limits are related to what they might potentially display without modification.

And as you may have noticed, depending on the search query, they will typically pull chunks out of the meta description that best fit the query.

Other times they'll skip the meta description text completely and pull the snippet out of the body text. It all depends on what text Google is looking for in order to best match the search query. You also need to keep in mind that different lengths of meta descriptions show up in search depending on what the user is search on - cell phone vs. a desktop. The best practice is to keep your keywords and call to action to the front of your meta description so when it does get cut off the user still gets the important part of your message.SEN article end