If you’ve added a meta description to any new blog post lately, you may have noticed that the Yoast meta description length has been reduced drastically. This change came with their latest 7.6 update.
I had noticed over the past few days that the snippets of my articles in Google have drastically decreased. I didn’t think much of it then, but it sure makes sense now. Just look up some of your recent articles on Google and see how they measure up.
Now I know we all diligently read the changelog with every update, but in case you randomly missed this one, here it is:
We’ve had about six months with a liberal 320 characters, to pack in some solid keywords, etc., but it’s now time to go back to the old 156 with this Yoast meta description length update.
Because Google. And when it comes to SEO, we are at the whim of Google. Your cyber-outlaw status doesn’t credit you here.
As to the exact length that Google has determined, we don’t know. But it is confirmed by Google that they have reduced the length of their snippets.
Now back to Yoast….of course they are going to follow the lead of Google. Why continue to offer 320 characters, when Google will not show even half of it?
Here’s their own announcement.
The Good / The Bad of the Yoast Meta Description Length
…and more importantly the Google snippet length…
The Good: Well, you have to follow the lead of Google. This demonstrates, again, Yoast’s commitment to staying relevant and keeping his plugin updated accordingly (except for that last blunder).
The Bad: We’ve had about six months of publishing posts with longer, well-crafted, meta descriptions, that now are either cut-off mid-sentence, mid-thought, or no longer includes our keyword.
That’s no good.
Go with the flow and stick to 156 characters. If they up it again, just stick to 156 characters.
Oh and when you get time, go and adjust your previous six months of meta descriptions.
What are your thoughts?