Meta Descriptions Vs Search Snippets in Google

Posted on February 26th, 2018 under Digital Marketing & SEO by Chris Lever

Have you noticed in recent months that your defined meta descriptions are triggering as the search snippet less and less? I know I have, but then I search specific terms and phrases daily as part of my job and freelance capabilities.

I’m just trying to understand what’s going on, is it testing by Google, or is it part of a longer term wider strategy. If it is a strategy, then what could it be? One thought is, increased adoption of voice search. Which would make sense.

What I find frustrating though, is it worth allocated resources and time for writing of call to action type meta descriptions only for them to be trumped by query matched search snippets? Where this fit in prioritisation of an effective SEO campaign? Do we now move meta descriptions down the priority order?

I suppose only time will tell, we’ll have to wait this one out to see what strategy Google have planned. It would be great is we could track how many time the meta description is triggered in Google organic search Vs total organic page views. We could get an idea how many times the defined meta description is viewed, that data certainly would be useful for working out and forecasting click-through-rates and conversion rates.

For example, you write a kick-ass call to action meta description, yet Google generates a useless query matched search snippet that makes no sense. Are you following me? That could significantly impact on organic CTR, completely out of your control too.

To add you could have the best written content that’s optimised to an inch of its life just for Goole to query match an illegible random search snippet.

Basically, what I’m trying to articulate across, is it worth allocating resources for meta descriptions anymore? I think I might run some tests on this. Maybe comment out all the meta descriptions on my (Sitebee) and see what happens in Search Console. The big question! Will traffic decrease or increase?

One things for sure, Google certainly are not bothered about meta descriptions anymore. And for the purest SEO’s reading this, yes I do know that meta descriptions are not considered to be a ranking factor anymore.

Do some test searches on the sites you control, you’ll see what i’m talking out.

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