Update: June 2018
Google has now announced they are reverting the changes introduced in December 2017. The new meta description length will be shorter again, yet Google confirmed it won't go back to the 160 characters as it was before.
Puzzled by the changes? Don't panic - make sure your homepage and the most popular pages [getting the most traffic] have meta descriptions at 160 characters. It's a standard length for all other search engines!
The ever-updating SERP is one of the most important factors that you need to consider while planning your SEO strategy. Google updates it’s SERP algorithm regularly to make any changes for the betterment of the search mechanism.
What’s the latest change?
Meta description plays a key role in getting a person enter your web page from the search results. It’s a preview of the content that’s on the web page.
A good Meta description leads to a good CTR [click through rate].
The maximum length of Meta description used to be 165 characters, but with the latest update, it has increased to 320 characters. Google suggests that webmasters and ecommerce experts are not obliged to increase their Meta description length as long as they think their current ones are good enough. Google rolled out this update by the fag end of November, resulting in 53% of the search results having longer Meta descriptions.
The increase in the Meta description length may lead to an increase in the search results page size. Users now may have to scroll more due to this change. CTR of your website may increase since you can explain and write more about your website and try to attract more traffic.
Everything has its pros and cons. So, don’t get too excited about this latest Google update and try to work on it and see how it affects your seo optimization and website rankings. Ecommerce experts must collect their traffic data and analyze how this update is affecting their rankings, especially in regards to the fold. Tweak your optimization in accordance with this change in order to avoid any negative effects on your rankings.