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Why Google Has Changed the Meta Description Again

Transcript from Video:

Hi. I’m Geoff from Leapfrog Internet Marketing. Why Google has changed the meta description again. So just as a reminder, the meta description is normally a two-line description that is below the meta title in the search results and the URL. It’s not actually a ranking factor anymore, but it’s worth writing it because it’s a mini sales pitch to someone who’ll potentially click on your website. So for donkeys, it was around 160 characters, around two lines of text, and then back in December 2017 Google quickly was showing sometimes three lines of text or it is sometimes even four lines, up to 320 characters including spaces.

So the SEO industry started writing longer, four-line, 320-character meta descriptions, and then in the last month basically, that line has now dropped back down. And it really depends, Google will serve up a meta description on mobile that is on average around 130 characters, and for desktop, around 160 characters. And so what do you do? What length meta description do you write? We feel the best thing to do now would be to write a four-line meta description, a 320-character one, and treat it as a mini sales pitch, just right for the human being. And as Google now confirmed, the vast majority of meta descriptions that show in a search result are not taken from the meta description. Google is using machine learning more and more to actually take bits from the page content.

So they may use your meta description, but more than likely they’ll use content from your website. So I think the take-home is, write a long meaty meta description but at the end of the day Google may not use it. If you’ve got any questions, please let me know. Thanks.

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  • I’m very happy to recommend Geoff and Leapfrog Internet Marketing. Geoff took the time to really understand our organisation’s marketing strategy and provided an SEO solution that significantly improved our Google listing. In summary: professional, honest, fun, results-orinentated.

    Charles Wallace, Strategy Manager, BAE Systems, Frimley, Surrey
  • I’m very happy to recommend Geoff and Leapfrog Internet Marketing. Geoff took the time to really understand our organisation’s marketing strategy and provided an SEO solution that significantly improved our Google listing. In summary: professional, honest, fun, results-orinentated.

    Charles Wallace, Strategy Manager, BAE Systems, Frimley, Surrey
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