Meta descriptions aren’t a rating issue, however they’ll entice extra clicks—and that results in extra site visitors.

That mentioned, you’ve most likely seen that Google doesn’t at all times use the hardcoded meta description. It generally chooses a distinct snippet from the page.

If you’ve hung out crafting an attractive meta description, this may be annoying.

But how typically does it occur?

To discover out, we in contrast hardcoded meta descriptions with the precise Google desktop snippets for 20,000 key phrases.

But first, an attention-grabbing truth…

25.02% of top-ranking pages don’t have a meta description

Crazy, proper?!

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Here’s the breakdown by rating place:

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For anybody questioning, the Spearman correlation right here is 0.28, which is taken into account weak.

Still, for these with descriptions, how typically do they present up?

Google rewrites meta descriptions 62.78% of the time

Yes–Google rewrites meta descriptions for the majority of search outcomes.

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This already tells us quite a bit, but it surely’s at all times extra insightful to phase the information…

That quantity drops to 59.65% for fat-head and rises to 65.62% for long-tails

We hypothesized that Google would generate descriptions extra typically for long-tail key phrases.

This was primarily based on the truth that the common first-page end result ranks for tons of of key phrases, and the hardcoded descriptions are often written across the main “head” key phrase.

For instance, our main goal key phrase for this submit is “youtube keyword tools”—so we wrote the meta description with that in thoughts.

As a end result, Google reveals our hardcoded description within the outcomes for the goal key phrase…

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… however not for a few of the long-tail key phrases the submit ranks for:

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This occurs as a result of the hardcoded description is much less related for the long-tails. It makes extra sense for Google to decide on its personal snippet.

But, what we discovered stunned us:

While Google is extra prone to rewrite meta descriptions for long-tail key phrases, it’s solely by a small margin.

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My guess is that the hole will develop over time as Google will get higher at understanding search intent and subsequently offering essentially the most related search snippets.

Sidenote.

 Our methodology isn’t excellent right here, as there’s no solution to determine fat-heads and long-tails with 100% certainty. Learn extra here.

Google is barely much less prone to rewrite meta descriptions that truncate

Google truncates meta descriptions which are too lengthy.

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But does this have an effect on the prospect of Google rewriting them? In different phrases, is Google extra prone to generate its personal snippet when your meta description is simply too lengthy?

Let’s take a look at the information:

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The outcomes listed below are just about equal. Google rewrote 61.46% of meta descriptions that have been too lengthy and 63.69% of the remaining.

Surprisingly, it appears that evidently preserving your meta descriptions inside limits doesn’t change the chance of Google rewriting them a lot.

Perhaps that’s as a result of lengthy descriptions are surprisingly widespread. 40.61% of 192,656 distinctive pages’ descriptions we studied have been too lengthy.

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Should you continue to trouble writing meta descriptions?

Yes. Relevant and compelling meta descriptions entice clicks, so that they’re nonetheless price writing—regardless that they’re solely proven solely 37% of the time, on common.

That mentioned, in case your web site is big, it pays to prioritize pages that:

  • Already get natural site visitors
  • Were created to rank in Google
  • Are prone to get shared on social media (the place the meta description can be used for the social snippet description within the absence of OG tags)

Taking this method ought to have essentially the most impression for the least quantity of labor.

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