Google has officially confirmed with Search Engine Land that it has altered the way snippets will be displayed in search results. Snippet is basically the description of the page you searched for, that is reflected below the URL, and helps to show how the page relates to the search query.
A Google spokesperson said: “We recently made a change to provide more descriptive and useful snippets, to help people better understand how pages are relevant to their searches. This resulted in snippets becoming slightly longer, on average.”
Check out the screenshot highlighting description snippet of a Google search result:
Since the last few weeks, many users have been noticing that the snippets were unusual, specifically longer, than the normal ones.
As per a tool used by RankRanger, the snippet length has extended from 160 characters to 230 characters, on an average.
Some website owners and SEO masters may consider updating their meta description, but Google, most probably, won’t recommend doing so. It is because snippets are more often automatically generated as per the user query and content available on the web page. If Goggle is going to continue with the longer snippets, it will probably extract the content from the page.