All you need to know about Meta Descriptions
A few weeks ago, we wrote one of the biggest new changes made to Google’s search results at the beginning of 2019. These changes have an extended character limit for meta descriptions, the text snippets search results appearing below in your links.
Just like we did in the previous post – you should read it – we’ve seen it:
- Previous text snippets for search results are a bit up and down but average 165 characters
- Most queries now have examples of long snippets, reaching up to 320 characters, doubling past limitations.
- The limit is flexible; Some sites scattered to show full sentences instead of closing some words.
Will this affect your SEO in 2018? Let’s talk about these conclusions and ideas.
You can expect that Moz is on the ball, which includes everything related to SEO, especially major developments. This case is not an exception. You can read the article here and I want to; I’ll study two direct references that promptly follow this statement.
In the Moz article, they mention that the search results are sometimes shown in excessive snippets and it does not require a significant amount of 320 characters. They cite the search results on Wikipedia’s non-competitive clauses page, which you can see here. They say the snippet adds 386 characters. I say that they have a little bit of a mark, even if they would bring similar problems later in their posts.
See, measuring the “jump to the exception” line in the range of the range. Yes, if it is a part of the snippet of the page in the search result, the snippet in the actual metadata for the wiki page is not that critical. Actually, the wiki does not explicitly have meta description tags in their original code. The description is set as part of the script for the window. This is part of the general form of Wikipedia that should clearly avoid a clear description for each page.
Top and Bottom Factors – Go to Exceptions and Links to Specific States and Countries – There are rich snippets added by Google. Similarly, star ratings will be visible in some search results, some site subpages and more.
Any additional information from this additional result is not considered as part of the character limit for those search results. Instead, there is rich information added by Google based on data structured through the site.
Therefore, it is perfect to say that snippets may be more than 320 characters, yet it is not perfect – at least in the Moz based example – your meta description can itself be more than 320 characters and may be left out for a long time.
In fact, I’ve found many examples of meta descriptions that have been significantly reduced below 320 characters. In this case, this is the site that does not set its own meta description, and that description is automatically removed by Google. Both examples are the result of a giggle, for a query for “pure neutrality” and “hippo”. Both of them fell short by one on 304 and 302. Google could easily include another word or two within the character limit, but it did not.
Limits on long snippets
A study of Mozes found that the average length of snippets in about 100,000 results was about 230 characters, but the average data is not required here. Many sites have intentionally small or even poor meta descriptions that will average. Also, each site that may contain more details, but if it has a small set, it will not be updated on large snippets.
One thing to learn is that some types of snippets actually do not get the least amount of space yet. The video snippets are among the most visible; They are still too small. It will not surprise if Google is testing the long video snippet in the coming months, but it opens up many potential videos CTA brought to the search results snippet. The video snippet does not do anything well if there are only social media links for a video posting video. Since YouTube does not allow setting meta descriptions separately from video descriptions, there is no good fix for the problem.
Also, in the SEO blog post mentioned above, we have told one thing that many content management systems – especially older SEO plugins that allow customized meta descriptions – are baked into codes up to the old 165 character limit. According to Mora de, Goodreads.com is a site that uses this site; All their descriptions have been “cupboards” … in the code, which seems like Google has described CMS as an undisputed issue.
To make use of snippets auto-generated plugins, it makes sense again for sites like BigRed sites. It gives some control to the site, so Google does not take a snippet from data that should not be used for snippets, but it has been done automatically, so it is not a widespread manual problem.
Until the CMS is updated, by the plugin or by the plugin or CMS or the developer, those small limitations will be applied not only by Google but also by the site. Anyone using these plugins or CMS will continue to shoot themselves in the foot until the problem is resolved. In the case of old or released software, this could mean large-scale site migrations, which could be a huge pain.
Plus, another tip: Google will gladly ignore your meta description in order to provide your own. It looks like where the original meta description is unnecessary in the title or just not useful. One example is Mozilla where the site is written on a silent night. The title of their page was a silent song and the meta description set by the site was “song to silent night”. Google felt that it was not appropriate to pay attention to that impracticality and instead posted the song to the song itself.
It’s worth noting that Google has not really customized the description. He removed songs on the page and made holes to boot them. It is similar to show that those changes will be beneficial when Google changes.
My personal skepticism is that they changed this example due to the misuse of keywords. If you were trying to target a Christmas song, then there would be two ideal keywords using “silent night song” and “silent night”. Not using anything but those keyword keywords look like spam, so Google does not want to keep it.
Should you change your description?
There’s a lot going on with this question, so I’m going to break it and discuss some related issues.
First of all, ~ 165 character limit is alive or dead? According to the measurement date, the chances are that the chances are quite good, the old character limit is dead. It seems Google has expanded its amounts to a large extent. Perhaps some sites have not been updated yet, so adding a longer description can be temporarily cut off, but at the end, you will be re-indexed and updated to a longer description.
This is true for traditional websites, but not for other types of content. Video snippets should still be remembered that the video description has been reduced down to 100 characters. I would assume that most of the non-web content other formats would be as small as possible.
Secondly, you need to consider the technical limitations of your CMS or SEO plugin. You can add more details, but only if you have permission to add them. If you are using a plugin or CMS that applies short descriptions, you have to do something to find it out.
- Use more than 300 characters in a new post and wait for it to be indexed.
- Check out new posts in Google’s search results to see if the description has been abridged. If not, you’re good to go!
- If the description is collapsed, see which part of your system is causing it. Do you use an SEO plugin like Yoast or All-In-One, auto-generate short descriptions in your system, or just use default description fields?
- Check the plugin or CMS developer in question. Are their announcements on their website that they are working on an update and allow long meta descriptions?
- If the developer does not have a public update, will they have at least active websites and show that the plugin or CMS is in the active development process?
- If the website appears to be active, send them a support message and ask them if there is a plan to address Google’s changes.
- If the developer does not have any plans, if their website becomes inactive, or if there is a CMS or a property of a plugin and is not receiving a patched look, look at other fixes.
Two main solutions are custom code or site migrations. If you use popular plugins, someone has tried to take over the cover and solve it even after someone has solved the code hack. It can work, but I always urge people to avoid lifelong plugins and software protection. An older part of the software is more than an unexpected security hole, which can be a compromised gateway to your site.
Alternatively, you can rent the developer to try to create those patches for you. It may or may not be dependent on the copyright of the plugin or CMS and copyright harassment.
Finally, you can simply migrate to another plugin or CMS. If you use only one small SEO plugin, migrating to a large and actively managed plugin can be a problem but there is no “site downtime” problem. If that’s your entire CMS, then addressing it is a big problem.
Thirdly, you have sections between new posts and old posts. If you have any schedule for publishing and you plan to publish in the future, in the “new” posts, everything that is already published is in the “old” post.