*Just how many characters in the title does Google show? Is it 70 or 71? *

Google has been playing around with the number of characters that it shows in the title on search results. I have recently seen that it has been showing not the standard 71, but in fact 70 characters of the title of websites when it lists pages in its search results.

This has been a problem where I have been using exactly 71 characters in titles of web pages. All of a sudden, there has been a “ …” showing at the end, and words missed out. So I have been reducing the length of titles to the 70, or even 69 to cater for Google idiosyncrasy’s.

The title of this post is 71 characters. So it will be interesting to see just how many characters it shows.

Meta description length

The same is actually true for the meta description. For a number of years, Google has been showing 156 characters, and then adding “ …” to the end. Now I notice that it is only showing 155 characters. So as a test, I have added a meta description to this page of 156 characters. Lets see how Google treats this page in the results.

The following link will show up this page in Google results - lets see the “ …” showing img=It used to be 71 characters for the title - now 70 characters]downloads/71-characters.jpg/img]

That is rather interesting! While 71 characters is obviously too many for the title, it is still showing the 156 characters of the meta description. So lets change it to 157. img=length of meta description]downloads/meta-description-length.jpg/img]