SEO success is in a constant flux, which means the actions items for ROI change often thanks to algorithm updates. The switch to mobile-first indexing and consumer shifts in search practices is causing some to believe that some of the previous core goals are SEO are on the way out. This includes meta descriptions. Although some may argue they are on the way out, this is far from the case. Learn why some believe this theory and why it is only half truths here.
Summary Alterations by Google
For the last five years, Google has preached the gospel of 160 word meat descriptions as being ideal. Users are able to manually enter these descriptions to inform the consumer/viewer of what each page is focusing on all relevant topics. Google takes all page meta descriptions into review when going through the algorithm and is able to alter these if they feel the meta description is misleading or false. The same goes for those who do not put meta descriptions in manually; Google creates what they feel is an accurate meta description for each page. They are also not a direct factor in ranking.
If Google Is Creating These, Why Are We Still Concerned?
It can seem that this may be a useless tactic, but that is far from the case. Although it does not directly affect your page’s ranking, there are numerous statistic indicating that those who manually enter relevant meta descriptions see an increase in page success. This is because consumers are receiving the most accurate information from the website versus a manually created meta by the algorithm.
Google announced that,
“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.”
Why Keep Using Metas
Although Google may take action against spammy webmasters at some point regarding meta descriptions, today and for the foreseeable future it is unlikely to change. Mobile search is still one of the highest search devices across the board which allows users to view these descriptions to see if the information is relevant to their needs. The rise of voice search will not kill metas either. Meta titles and meta descriptions are reviewed and generated using the same algorithm as mobile search. To ensure your content is accurately portrayed in both types of search, manual entry is a must.
What Marketers Should Do
Keep on keeping on is the best theory for the moment. Eliminating or choosing to create metas for all pages would be an extremely daunting task for Google and unlikely to be a solution in the near future. Keep putting time into generating unique and accurate metas.
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