Google’s snippets and the length of your meta description

You might have noticed: Google has created search results snippets longer. within the past it showed up to ~160 characters, currently it may be abundant, for much longer}. We’re presently researching what this suggests for website homeowners. We’ve conjointly modified the Yoast SEO recommendations for meta description length in expectation of the results of that analysis. during this article, I’ll check what this transformation suggests that for you and for America.

TL;DR: Snippets will currently be up to 320 characters or maybe longer in some rare cases. We’re researching new best practices. within the in the meantime, Yoast SEO’s inexperienced bullets can work otherwise. As of these days, Yoast SEO can solely offer you associate orange bullet if your meta description length exceeds 320 characters.

What modified within the search results?

Search result snippets square measure currently abundant, much longer. this transformation came just about out of the blue, however it’s simple, a groundwork for [what may be a meta description] seems like this now:

As you’ll be able to see the featured snip is strictly identical because the “normal” snip for the web log post is currently. The post includes a meta description, that is way shorter, however Google grabs a “random” paragraph from the page and shows that instead.

Our hypothesis on a replacement snip reality

Of course, this snip isn’t “random” in the least. This paragraph had expressly been optimized for ranking therein featured snip. In fact, it had been optimized for that individual question and a few terribly similar ones. the majority the pages we’ve optimized for featured snippets currently have those featured snippets showing as snippets within the traditional search results too.

Our hypothesis is simple: Google grabs the “core paragraph” for a specific search question inside a piece. It then displays that paragraph because the snip. Not entirely to our surprise, this could strengthen all our efforts on readability and higher writing even additional. We’ve been language for a while: readability ranks.

The question is: are you able to still get your meta descriptions to indicate up? Our thinking here is that you just in all probability will do this quite dependably if the meta description contains the searched-for keyword. Of course, your meta description length ought to conjointly work inside Google’s new boundaries. however it appeared in preliminary searches, as if Google would favor slightly additional keyword dense paragraphs from inside the copy over a meta description that contained the keyword just once.

Another hypothesis we wish to check in our analysis is whether or not deleting the meta description results in higher snippets.

The impact of this transformation

With longer snippets, you’d expect the general CTR of search results to drop slightly. individuals would possibly notice their answer within the search results; they could not have to be compelled to click onward. to this point we’ve not seen our own CTR go down, however we’ll monitor this closely for multiple sites.

Whether a CTR that goes down is unhealthy for you depends on your key goals. For us, if individuals notice a solution to their question within the search results, however associate it with the complete Yoast, we’re good. The stigmatisation price, within the long-term, exceeds the chance of you changing to a client on the clicking. If your company depends on ad revenue although, you’d in all probability check up on this with a very totally different perspective.
Our analysis

Here at Yoast, we have a tendency to feel a profound responsibility to administer you the simplest feedback we will on your writing. which includes feedback on your meta descriptions. Of course, this feedback should be fact-based, that is why we have a tendency to square measure researching this transformation in-depth. we have a tendency to square measure presently researching with four equally sized teams of posts:

== a bunch of posts which will get a extended meta description, within which we’ll use the keyword just once.
== a collection of posts which will get a extended meta description. We’ll use the keyword multiple times, equally distributed across the meta description.
== a bunch of posts that we’ll delete the meta description utterly.
== Posts which will keep their previous, handcrafted, shorter, meta description and can act as our management cluster.

Our analysis team can analyze the results of this analysis. when this we’ll in all probability do another take a look at, with additional sites, to do and corroborate our findings. At identical time, we have a tendency to square measure after all maintaining with posts by different SEO firms on the subject.

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