Study Shows That Google Rewrites Meta Descriptions Most Of The Time
A recent study shows that meta descriptions written by local SEO agencies and website owners are changed by Google over 70 per cent of the time. This is especially true for an SEO agency’s website that is currently ranking on the first page of Google search results.
Moreover, it shows that Google ignores meta descriptions differently on desktop and mobile. The research shows that meta descriptions on desktops are rewritten at a rate of 68 per cent, and those on mobile rewritten at a rate of 71 per cent.
This only means that the original meta description of a webpage will only be used by Google around 30 per cent of the time.
The study examined the search results for 30,000 keywords and mostly focused on Google’s first page of organic search results without the featured snippets.
Portent notices that most of the rewritten meta descriptions come from pages ranking in positions 4 to 6. This could be because those ranked from position 1 to 3 receive the most click-through rate, and Google wants to boost the relevance of pages on 4 to 6 before readers leave the page and move on to a different website.
This could also mean that meta descriptions are mostly changed based on a page’s rankings.
The relationship between the search volume and the rewrite rate was also examined. According to their findings, if the search volume is higher, Google is unlikely to change the meta description. This can mean that most of the SEO agencies are focusing more on creating meta descriptions for keywords with the most searches every month.
Aside from the rewriting meta descriptions, Google also decides how many characters to show based on the device used to view the search results page.
If the user views it on desktop, the displayed characters reach 156 as the highest point and suddenly drop after 165. If there is a date shown in the snippet, it can be further reduced to 142 characters.
If Google changes the meta description, it will show it at around 160 to 167 characters. If it has a date, then it will show a meta description that is approximately 147 to 149 characters.
Meanwhile, if it is viewed on a smartphone, characters for snippets that do not have dates may reach up to 118 and then drop after 121 characters. If the meta description has a publication date, then Google will only show between 95 to 105 characters.
If Google rewrites the meta description, it will show around 114 to 121 characters on mobile and 99 to 105 characters if it comes with a date.
The data from the study can significantly help local SEO agencies and website owners in writing meta descriptions more efficiently than before.
It is highly recommended to limit the word count of meta descriptions to anywhere between 150 and 160 characters, especially for regular pages. If it is a blog post or other web pages with publication dates, then the meta descriptions must be between 138 to 148 characters.
Aside from limiting the character count, it is also crucial to place the most important details within the first 100 characters of a meta description.
No matter how seldom Google uses the original meta descriptions, it is still important to spend time and effort when writing them.
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Here at Position1SEO, we can write meta descriptions that perfectly describe and summarise your website’s content. With a compelling meta description, you can attract more readers and persuade them to click your links, driving more relevant traffic to your website.
Not only that, but we can also provide informative content that’s relevant to your business, engaging your website users and eventually converting them into paying customers.
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