Tips to Write Meta Descriptions in a Constantly Changing World
September 21, 2018
At the end of 2017, Google made a shift and doubled the length of search snippets from 160 to 320 characters. This allowed writing more in the Meta Descriptions. However, this didn’t last long as Danny Sullivan of Google took to Twitter to announce that snippets are shorter on average of December change but longer than what has been the limit before the change. He further emphasized that there is no fixed length for snippets.
Apparently, length varies as their system deems most useful. But this leaves us even more confused as in how to cope with the rules that keep on changing.
Well, if you take a look at the search snippets, there is quite a difference as they go from 6 to 386 characters. So, how exactly it can be tackled.
1. To start with, you can write to a certain length limit which is reasonable of course. Have an ideal length for a given page. If it does get cut off well, don’t worry, much! It is a possibility that it might do good to your Meta Description. After all, a good description should be able to urge people to want to read more.
2. A good option is writing length adaptive description which is yes, can be possible with planning and by being cautious. Of course, you can’t take this route with every page of yours, but a few selective ones can be tested out with this theory.
3. Another option is to chop off the characters exceeding 155-character limit from all of your meta descriptions. It is a lot of hard work and a painful process as well. However, there is no guarantee if it will fare well or just end up rather too badly. Rewriting a few important pages makes sense, so you can try out this approach.
4. There are some sites that don’t have any meta description like Wikipedia. Many of these sites do just fine without a tag. So, the option here is to either write an old, boring and repetitive tag or you can simply leave it blank and let Google sort it out however it wants to.
The situation will continue to evolve. So, is it really worth the effort? With Google rewriting more and more descriptions, there is also no guarantee that yours won’t be rewritten. For now, the 155 character limit seems to be in play that you can write in perfectly fine. This might not be a fool-proof plan but it certainly is a future-proofed and a more secure option.