Meta Description is a part of On-Page SEO. The Meta description is the description that appears up on the Google SERP (SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS PAGE). The description in the Google SERPs is used as a preview snippets of the given pages. You can check the below image for the same.
What is Meta Description?
The Meta description is the description which you can say is the short paragraph or summary of the actual page or post of the website which appears on the Google’s SERP. The number of characters to be used for description is from 150 to 160 words. And if you are using SEO by Yoast with WordPress, then the plugin will ask for a description of 156 characters to be perfect. But somehow you can use a unique description from 150 to 160 characters, which Google will easily be able to display on its SERPs.
Updated: Google on the 30th November 2017 has updated the length of the meta description from 155 to 300 characters. You can read the whole info in the last paragraph.
What is the Tag code of Meta description?
<meta name=”description” content=”Write your own best description for your page/post from 155 to 300 character length of the meta tag.”>
Is it necessary to use Meta description?
Well, this question is little tricky because sometimes, when we don’t use the description on the pages of a website then Google uses the first paragraph or the first lines of the sites to display in its snippet preview. But I would rather say that writing a good description is considered as one of the best SEO practice. Somehow it’s not necessary to use the meta description if you don’t want fast and stable results.
Why Not use Duplicate tags for different Page:
Do not use duplicate description on various pages of your website. The description must be unique and different on each page of the site because it helps in better ranking of the site and saves you from creating the duplicate content on your site.
How Long should a meta description be?
In the year 2015 Google said that the ideal description for the snippets is 155 characters but on November 2017 Googe has increased the limit from 155 characters to almost 300 characters. If you a regular user of the Yoast, you would have noticed that the character limit has increased. It is because Google was testing the description with more characters from last two years and finally they have raised the character limit in the Google snippet. You can also take a look at the at article shared by the search engine land on the increased length of the search results. There are also some tools which show a character range from 230 to 260 character limit in the meta description.
Here’s a screenshot of Yoast Plugin which shows the length of the snippet in the search result has increased.
Should we go with 155 characters or 300 characters?
You might be thinking that we must write more characters in our meta description to get good ranking on Google SERPs. Well, that can be true, but snippet description is not the only ranking factor, there are many other things which Google consider. So, changing the length of your every post from 155 to almost 300 will make a little difference and chances are that your keyword will rank quickly. But Slowly you can start adding the more description to your posts meta description and I think that Google understands that.
Although, 155 characters are still considered as good from Google and Even your previous posts are going to rank and there is only a 1% chance that it will come down.