Google adds samples of both good and awful Meta descriptions to its guidance on search snippets. Google included examples of the best and worst practices in its documentation on how to write high-quality Meta descriptions that will appear in the search results.
The documentation for managing the snippet in the search results was updated.
Meta Description in Search Snippets
The summaries and descriptions of websites that rank in the search results are known as search snippets. How to manage the search snippets in the search results is explained in Google’s handbook. The Meta description and, occasionally, the actual text are the sources of the information utilized to create the search snippet.
The term “ransom notes” was sometimes used to describe Meta descriptions that are created from the text of a page because they can seem to be random snippets with keywords in them.
With Google’s update to the search snippet guidelines, there are now more illustrations of how to write Meta descriptions correctly and incorrectly.
Examples of Meta Descriptions
Google provided samples of both good and bad Meta descriptions in four areas.
The following are the four bad approaches to writing Meta descriptions:
Bad Category Examples
- Google criticizes Meta descriptions that are nothing more than a list of keywords and don’t attempt to include any sort of summary.
- When Meta descriptions are templated and used consistently across several online documents, this occurs.
- This is a typical error in Meta descriptions. It’s simple to develop the habit of creating Meta descriptions that are primarily focused on the keyword phrase or the topic and neglect to include a summary of the page’s content.
- It goes without saying and is somewhat related to the prior one. The Meta description is not optimal if it is so brief that it fails to provide a summary of the webpage.
Examples of Better Meta Descriptions
Google then provides illustrations of Meta descriptions that are appropriate.
- The first example of a Meta description is for a physical store that lists the products it sells, where it is located, and what hours it is open. This is intriguing because it describes the company rather than what is on the website. In essence, that is data about the company that users are interested in.
- A news story’s Meta description using a passage from the article itself serves as the second good example. That’s also fascinating. If the CMS has a feature that only displays the first about 70 words of each piece, it is crucial to summarise the article’s main points in the first sentence, which is good practice to start with. It’s encouraging to see that method proven because some forum software uses using the first sentence from a page of text as a solution.
- According to Google’s third best practice, the ideal way to approach Meta descriptions is to summarise the entire webpage. This sums up what Google most likely expects from a Meta description.
- The final illustration is a Meta summary for a product page. In this case, it is advised to concentrate on the particulars of the product being offered for sale on the product page.
Best Practices for Meta Description
The examples of excellent Meta descriptions offer value to the information on managing the search snippet. The majority of the information in the new section on Meta descriptions is strikingly consistent with earlier Google entries on the same subject. For instance, Google stated in 2007 that it was permissible to create Meta descriptions programmatically by repurposing on-page content:
“Handwritten descriptions are more challenging for larger database-driven services, like product aggregators. However, in the latter scenario, automated description generation is both permissible and encouraged; just be careful that your descriptions are not “spammy.” As we discussed in the first criteria above, good descriptions are varied and easy to read for humans. Programmatically generated page-specific data, as we discussed in the second point, is a strong choice.”
Google enhanced the section on Meta descriptions in the documentation for how to scroll the website snippet displayed in search results. The enhancement is to provide examples of what high-quality Meta descriptions for various types of webpages look like.
The overall conclusion can be deemed to be truthful and descriptive of the website’s subject matter. If it’s a product-related article, include a description of the item in the Meta description. Summarize the entire webpage if it is an informational page; in some situations, it is acceptable to use content that is taken directly from the webpage.