Google's recentSERP redesignmay not seem like a big deal to the casual observer, but at least one change could have a real impact on SEOs. This post will explore the impact of the redesign on title tags, and define a new, data-driven length limit, but first, a new tool...
Title tag preview tool (2014 edition)
Pardon the reverse order of this post, but we wanted to put the tool first for repeat visitors. Just enter your title and the search query keywords (for highlighting) below to preview your result in the redesign:
Enter Your Full Title Text:
Enter Search Phrase (optional):
I'm really happy for you, andImma let you finish, but Beyonce has one of the best
This is your page description. The font and size of the description has not changed in the latest redesign. Descriptions get cut off after roughly 160 characters...
Note: Enter keyword phrases as natural queries, without commas. This preview tool only highlights exact-match text (not related concepts) and is only intended as an approximation of actual Google results.
How the redesign impacts titles
Google's redesign increased the font size of result titles, while keeping the overall container the same size. Look at the following search result both before and after the redesign:
The title on the top (old design) has a small amount of room to spare. After the redesign (bottom), it's lost six full characters. The old guidelines no longer apply, and so the rest of this post is an attempt to create a new set of guidelines for title tag length based on data from real SERPs.