Google Updates Search Results Design, Did You Notice?

Fred Caloggero

May 1, 2014

Google Updates Search Results Design, Did You Notice?

One of the most important, if not THE most important, and identifiable aspects of any search engine listing is your title. This is what draws a user’s attention to your listing, and it is what they will click to get to your website. This is where you hope to catch their attention and present yourself as the most relevant option based on the query they performed. This is also where, as of a month ago, Google cut back on how many characters of your title will show in their results page, seen below:

Serp changes

Their goal with the update is to improve readability and create a cleaner look. The enhancements include:

  • Increased font size of result titles
  • Removal of underlines
  • Ad labels

So how does this really affect your titles, and overall digital marketing image? Google’s redesign increased the font size of result titles, however they kept the overall listing container the same size (512 pixels). Look at the following search result both before and after the redesign:

Serp changes 2

You’ll notice they both have the exact same language, however the redesign listing at the bottom is getting cut off. This becomes an issue for messaging.

Dr. Pete over at Moz put together a study in which he and colleagues looked at page 1 search results for 10,000 English queries. This covered 89,787 titles from Google.com. This is what they found:

title length change

Through the test, Dr. Pete concluded that if all of your title tags were exactly 55 characters long, then you could expect about 95% of them to be left alone. If your titles are not 55 characters long? This is when you need to consider the importance of your messaging and how your titles are constructed, as you are working with fewer characters to get your brand’s message across.

Because there is no definitive number to attain for title length, it takes more than just slashing some words out of your titles to shorten them. You’ll want to identify your primary keyword phrase on each page for which you’re trying to rank and ensure that it is at the beginning of your titles. Unless you have a very recognizable brand that receives high search volumes, place your name at the very end of your title, freeing up space for important page information.

Need help with this? Give us a call and we’d be more than happy to help you out.