Google shares examples on how to improve meta descriptions
It’s not every day when Google shares exact examples of what it expects content creators to do.
Google has added examples on how to improve meta descriptions to its updated help documentation. The search engine giant not only listed examples for what it considers “good meta descriptions” for you to follow, but it also shared examples for “bad meta descriptions” that you should avoid.
Examples of poorly written meta descriptions
Here are four examples of poorly written meta descriptions, as per Google:
1. Just a list of keywords
Example: “Sewing supplies, yarn, colored pencils, sewing machines, threads, bobbins, needles.”
2. Duplicate meta descriptions on news article
Example: “Local news in Whoville, delivered to your doorstep. Find out what happened today.”
3. Meta descriptions that don’t summarize the page well
Example: “Eggs are a source of joy in everyone’s life. When I was a small child, I remember picking eggs from the hen house and bringing them to the kitchen. Those were the days.”
4. Meta descriptions that don’t have enough text
Example: “Mechanical pencil“
Examples of well-written meta descriptions
Here are some examples of well-written meta descriptions. Content creators should follow these tips to craft meta descriptions for their web pages.
1. Descriptions that share relevant business details
Example: “Get everything you need to sew your next garment. Open Monday-Friday 8-5pm, located in the Fashion District.”
2. Meta descriptions that share a specific snippet from a news article
Example: “Upsetting the small town of Whoville, a local elderly man steals everyone’s presents the night before an important event. Stay tuned for live updates on the matter.”
3. Meta descriptions that summarize the web page
Example: “Learn how to cook eggs with this complete guide in 1 hour or less. We cover all the methods, including: over-easy, sunny side up, boiled, and poached.”
4. Meta descriptions that are specific and detailed
Example: “Self-sharpening mechanical pencil that autocorrects your penmanship. Includes 2B auto-replenishing lead. Available in both Vintage Pink and Schoolbus Yellow. Order 50+ pencils, get free shipping.”
Based on this, we can conclude that a good meta description — according to Google — has the following qualities:
- It is not stuffed with keywords without any other context.
- It summarizes the web page clearly.
- It is specific and detailed.
- It is unique to that web page.
Although meta description is not a direct search engine ranking factor, it can play an important role in driving the organic click-through rate (CTR). A higher CTR means higher search engine traffic and can lead to improved rankings down the road.
You can check out Google’s updated documentation here.