According to an Ahrefs report, Google disregards a page’s meta description 63% of the time for pages in the top 10 results.
Generally, a search engine takes an excerpt from the page when a meta description isn’t viable. But, in the last few years, Google has been displaying content from excerpts in the snippet over meta descriptions.
To understand how often Google ignores the meta description, the author conducted a study using a list of 30,000 keywords from his organisation’s clients, with brand terms filtered out. The study recommends marketers should keep the character count for mobile results – without a date – under around 120.
In the case of mobile-focussed snippets with date, marketers should try to fit in the essential elements within 100 characters. In contrast, marketers can write between 150 and 160 characters for desktop-focused meta descriptions.
[16 minute read]