As I’m sure you’ve noticed, Google has extended the amount of characters they support in their search results. Although Google has been know and says they use snippets from wherever they choose on that page, most often they use the Meta Description tag in theto describe what your page is about. It used to be about 160 characters, and now it is a spacious 320 characters. So much space to describe your business now with keyword-rich content.
The meta description tag, if you’re unfamiliar, is an HTML tag that appears in the <head> section of an HTML Web page:
< meta name=”description” content=”This is a description of my web page in previously 160 characters, but now it can go as high as 320 characters. So much space!”/ >
Here is Google’s official statement on the snippets change:
“The fact that our snippets have gotten longer doesn’t change the fundamentals of writing a description tag. They should generally inform and interest users with a short, relevant summary of what a particular page is about. We now display slightly longer snippets, which means we might display more of a meta description tag. However, we never had a limit on meta description tag length before, as we covered earlier this year. So, there’s no need for publishers to suddenly expand their meta description tags, if they feel their current ones are adequate. As a reminder, our snippets are dynamically generated. Sometimes, they use what’s in a meta description tag. More often, they are generated by showing content from the page itself and perhaps parts of the meta description tag, as is appropriate for individual queries. For more guidance on meta description tags and snippet generation, we recommend publishers read our recent blog post on the topic, our help page and the ‘Create good titles & snippets’ section of our SEO starter guide that was just updated this week.”
As always, Google wants you to use this space for the greater good of the Internet. They want quality content that will help visitors choose the best page for their search query. We want to help Google do that for people.
I feel the Meta Description area is one of the first opportunities you have to explain to your audience what your web page is about, entice them to choose your page to view, and to wow them with your charm and wit. At least the first two are more possible than the third for most.
This is a great time to polish up those Meta Description tags for all your pages. It would make a really fresh start for 2018. That is why all our clients are getting their Meta Descriptions reviewed for their Q4 2017 and Q1 2018 quarterly reviews. Contact us today if you’d like us to help you with your SEO, Internet marketing, or overall web presence in 2018.