Meta Description Length

Randhal007

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Hi,

is it possible to filter all urls of a project with too long meta-descriptions (e.g. with more then 150 letters)? I often need this feature, but couldn't find it with regard to website auditor at the moment.

And it would be great to get information regarding the use of h1, h2, h3 on the urls.
thx and cheers
 

elcidofaguy

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I think the best way to solve this is to write your own script which parses each page with looking for meta description tag and counting string length in order to determine if more than 150 chars.. Thereafter to find all heading tags and extract the text held within... To then dump the data to a text file or insert to a database... You could write that in pretty much any language from MS-Access (VBA), PHP, C#, Java etc..

That aside you might want to have a look at scrapebox.. I'm not sure but it might be able to provide some of what you are looking for...
 

McCauley

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Hi,

is it possible to filter all urls of a project with too long meta-descriptions (e.g. with more then 150 letters)? I often need this feature, but couldn't find it with regard to website auditor at the moment.

And it would be great to get information regarding the use of h1, h2, h3 on the urls.
thx and cheers
I found some codes may be helpful for you if you are using wordpress blog

Code:
$the_str = substr($excerpt, 0, 150);
$the_str = trim(preg_replace( '/\s+/', ' ', $the_str));
return $the_str;
Using at your meta description where you want to trim long meta-descriptions that longer than 150 chars.
 

1SEO

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Hi,

is it possible to filter all urls of a project with too long meta-descriptions (e.g. with more then 150 letters)? I often need this feature, but couldn't find it with regard to website auditor at the moment.

And it would be great to get information regarding the use of h1, h2, h3 on the urls.
thx and cheers
Too long meta-descriptions aren't a huge issue if you have a description that goes over by 10-50 characters, Google will not penalized you. Make sure your descriptions are written well, truncating your own descriptions could harm you, since it may be cutting off a word and make your description look automated or not written well.
 

natemaingard

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natemaingard
They may not penalize you, but it's still not the best idea to have a long meta-description.
 

SEOPub

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SEOPub
Actually, it's usually not a good idea to have any meta description. I don't know why people keep wasting their time creating those stupid things. Leave it blank. You can thank me later.
 

SEOPub

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SEOPub
You can actually get better CTR's on most pages if you leave it blank. If you leave it blank, Google will pick what it feels is the most appropriate description from the content on the page in regards to the user's exact search. If you are doing SEO right, in most cases you are ranking for a lot of different keywords on one page, including some variations that you would never even think of. I would rather let Google pick something that more closely matches all those variations, than trying to write something that will.

The only time I create a meta description for a page is if it is a page that is really laser focused for one particular keyword. Even then, I usually don't.

Wikipedia doesn't use meta descriptions, and they rank for dang near everything.
 
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natemaingard

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natemaingard

To be fair, even if Wikipedia had meta descriptions it'd still be huge. :p

Essentially, meta descriptions are useless. Has it always been like that? or have they served a purpose at some point?
 

arronmattwills

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Better not to exceed 72 characters in the website title and 150 character is fine for meta description. But some websites i have seen that they used more keywords, lengthy description and fully opposite to organic S E O guidelines. Temporarily they might be ranked well in search engine but at some point, after some update it will be punished and through out of the search index.

Website Title, meta tags, meta description, ogg tags, heading tags etc., Should be related to the website content and should not exceed the limited number of characters. Manipulating the search engines will leaves you sad experiences. Improving content quality and visitor flow will increase your organic ranking.
 

SEOPub

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To be fair, even if Wikipedia had meta descriptions it'd still be huge. :p
Of course they would. I just was using a popular example of someone who does what I was suggesting. Everyone knows Wikipedia.

Essentially, meta descriptions are useless. Has it always been like that? or have they served a purpose at some point?
They played a bigger role in rankings at one point, but we are talking over 10 years ago. The only thing they are valuable for now is CTR's, and like I said, I would rather let Google pick one for that reason. Their understanding of language and searcher's intent is getting pretty damn good. I've experimented with this, and in every single test I ran, CTR's went up.
 

natemaingard

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natemaingard
Are meta descriptions something you still learn about when getting into IM, or is it just the people who already know IM that still believe they are useful?
 

SEOPub

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There are a lot of old IM guides out there as well as a lot of wannabe gurus parroting the same crappy old information today. They will talk about writing a compelling meta description to get more clicks. That sort of thing.

To me, it is a waste of time. I get better click thru rates by placing no meta description on the page and letting Google choose the most appropriate content snippet to match the user's search intent.

As with just about everything, there are exceptions. Obviously, if I had a page that was nothing but images, I'm going to write a meta description for that because there is really no text for Google to choose from unless I am writing full sentences in the alt text of the images.

In 99.9% of the webpages I create, there is no meta description.
 
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