Google has released a few recommendations regarding how to create better meta descriptions for search results.
In addition, they also released information about how they render meta descriptions, making it more important than ever for business owners to have excellent on page content and meta descriptions for every single page on their site.
Before we get too far into explaining the change. Let us remind you what a meta description is!
The meta description (also known as the search snippet) is a snippet of content on the back end of a website that summarizes a page’s content. Search engines show the meta description in search results as a way to describe the content, helping the user understand if they should click or not.
Optimizing the meta description is a very important aspect of on-page SEO
How Google Generates Meta Descriptions
Historically, when Google decided which information to display in the snipper of a search result, they started with the content within the page to extract the most relevant information.
If the content was not relevant, Google then turned to manually written meta descriptions.
Lastly, if the page content wasn’t solid and there was no meta description manually entered, they turned to DMOZ. (For some background, DMOZ was started by AOL as an open content directory of links on the internet.) DMOZ closed in March, leaving Google with no choice but to update their strategy.
All of that said, it is now crucial for business owners to write exceptionally strong meta descriptions. As Google describes, “Good meta descriptions are short blurbs that describe accurately the content of the page. They are like a pitch that convince the user that the page is exactly what they’re looking for.”
How can I make exceptional meta descriptions?
Here is a highlight of some of the recommendations from Google:
- Don’t forget meta descriptions!
- Create unique meta descriptions for each page, and make them relevant to the content on that page.
- Technically, there is no character limit but they will be truncated to fit within the search snippet for each specific advice. (The Markey Group recommends no more than 160 characters)
Do you need help crafting meta descriptions? Or, could you benefit from some SEO support? We have a team of SEO professionals who can help! Contact us to learn more about your services and how we can help you.