Google changed the game in May 2018 with how title tags and meta descriptions display on the SERP. Relying on character count to ensure your titles and descriptions display properly no longer works. Now, you must manage your metadata to a specific pixel width and incorporate bold keywords, publication date and rich snippets into your display. We built a Google SERP Preview Tool to help you visualize how your metadata will appear on Google with these new changes.
Best Practices for Title Tags and Meta Descriptions (May 2018 was latest update)
Title Tags: Title Tags are now based on a 6oo pixel (px) width limit. We see some title tags of up to 70 characters in length, but results vary depending on the size of specific characters included. For example “W” uses more space than “I”. Once past the 600px limit you will see the dreaded “…”, which makes your listing less effective and can lower response rate and clicks. Also, when a search query keyword is found in a title tag, it is shown as bold thus increasing the pixel width of these characters.
Meta Descriptions: In May 2018 Google announced an update to the way they display search results; specifically meta descriptions. Google now recommends that meta descriptions be up to 160 characters. We have updated our SERP Preview Tool to reflect this.
**Disclaimer** Providing a tool that mimics the Google SERP is complex as there are many variables and frequent changes. For these reasons the SmartSearch Marketing Google SERP Preview Tool may not mimic actual Google results perfectly. This tool should be used as a guide designed to help you visualize how your organic listing will be displayed on Google.
About SmartSearch Marketing
SmartSearch Marketing has been in business since 1999, specializing in digital marketing solutions for medium to large sized B2B companies. Agency value comes from extraordinary service, strategic leadership, and deep technical expertise in SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising, website usability & conversion improvement, and web analytics. SmartSearch Marketing consists of a team of highly skilled digital marketing experts. SmartSearch enables clients to attract, engage and convert prospects across the entire buying life-cycle. Learn more about our agency here.