Google SERP is the beautiful and converted bride and that is why SEO’s and website owners will do anything to get a place on its result page. A first position on Google SERP guarantees a minimum of 42% increase in web traffic but with each new update from the search giant, attaining this feat becomes increasing both difficult and easy at the same time.
When recently Google changed the way it displayed the search result views, most people were not too pleased. The new SERP lacks the hype and design well associated with the 21st Century where millions and time is spent on design and look. The purpose of this new design which includes a larger font and the underlines being removed according to Google is to present a consistent look across all devices that searches uses like mobile phones, tablets etc.
While this may be true, a lot of criticism has trailed the new Google SERP display and so far it seems this new look has come to stay.
While it might sense to cry and wail at what Google has done by act of omission or commission and what motive they might have, what is more practical is to understand the effect this has on what we do with regards to our website keyword .
One clear critical area the effect of this is seen is in the keyword structure and how it has been affected. If you make a search for certain keyword, you will notice a common trend amongst them. e.g The results for the keyword in my industry “SEO Company”, one of the results you will see is this:
How the New SERP affects Title tag
What is interesting to note is that the Title tag length was cut off at 50.
Now, running a similar search for the secondary keyword “SEO Company in Nigeria” produces another interesting result.
If you noticed the results of the search above, the keyword has been cut off at exactly the 52nd position.
Let take another example. Searching with the keyword “online shopping in Nigeria” gives you the following results and the interesting following statistics.
Title tag was cut off at 58.
Total length of Title tag was 53, so there was no need for a cut-off.
Title tag was cut off at 56
Now let’s take a look at another important on-page optimization factor, the Meta description tag.
The Meta description tag has been known all along as a means of selling your website to potential visitors. A good Meta description tag will boost your Title tag ranking but most especially, it will entice your visitors to click through to your website thereby helping you achieve more traffic.
What effect has the new SERP layout has on your Meta description?
When you take a look at the Meta description tags for the results above, you also will notice a similar trend. Once the main keyword has been shown, anything above 155 get cut off in the new result page thereby truncating the Meta description tag.
What does all this tells us and what can we do with this new variation and inconsistency in results?
Does it now mean that the default length of keyword for the Title bar in Google is now less than the recommended 59-60 and if so what is it? Is the inconsistency going to disappear later on as Google perfects this change? We might have to wait a bit longer to find out.
What is obvious from this is that with the new Title tag font being larger, Google cannot accommodate more letters in the results due to the new layout structure. Therefore once the Google matches searchers request with web result relevant to the keyword and it has been displayed, it cuts off the rest of the Title tag. This implies that whatever keyword you want to target for your website, you need to place it as closer to the beginning of your Title tag so that it does not get cut off. If your target keyword is at the tail end of your Title tag, you might actually lose ranking for the keyword as Google can cut off the results at any point it deems fit.
Once thing all this result tells us is that with the new Google SERP, the closer your keyword to the beginning of your Title Tag and Meta description tag, the easier you can get to rank for such keyword and of course, once again we all have to adapt again or lose out.
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