Hey guys, I was made aware today that the length of meta description for your on-page SEO is about to change again.
Back in December 2017, Google may have mentioned that they allowed a longer meta description than the usual 150+ characters.
Length of meta description in December 2017
What happened was that snippets could be much longer, i.e. up to 320 characters.
I changed the meta description of the more important articles to maybe 200 – 300 characters back then.
Unfortunately, 5 months later, they decided to push it back to 150 characters.
What does this mean? Do you have to update every article’s meta description?
Well, I won’t. I did a couple of Google searches for the keywords my articles rank for.
I noticed that Google just takes snippets from my content most of the time, rather than rely on my meta description.
This is probably why I’m not going to bother much on the meta description for the older articles.
Moving forward, I’ll use the old meta description length of 150 characters when Yoast updates its plugin again.
But I won’t be editing my older articles. How about you? Are you going to update all of them?
Disadvantage of not updating the meta description
The only disadvantage I could think of is that your description is not fully optimized.
The keywords that you’re hoping to rank for may have been cut off.
This only happens if you’ve inserted the long-tail keywords at the second half of the snippet.
As good practice, I tend to put my targeted keywords in my first sentence and paragraph.
This way, any realistic changes to the length of the meta description won’t affect my targeted keywords.
In a nutshell
Google is always updating their algorithms and experimenting with user experience.
Changes like this may happen a lot and as bloggers / website owners, we’ll have to deal with them regularly.
Even more so if we’re reliant on Google traffic.
Big thanks to Yoast SEO for writing on this issue of meta description.