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It’s official: Examples of good and bad meta descriptions now out

You don’t have to guess anymore.

Google updated their help document with examples of the best and worst practices when creating your article’s meta description.

Google updated their help document with examples of the best and worst practices when creating your article’s meta description.

The bad: These practices won’t cut it…

  • Listing keywords: “sewing supplies, yarn, colored pencils, sewing machines, threads, bobbins, needles.”
  • Redundant descriptions: “Local news in Whoville, delivered to your doorstep. Find out what happened today.”
  • No summary: “Eggs are a source of joy in everyone’s life. When I was a small child, I remember…”
  • Too short: “mechanical pencil.”

The good: These practices will keep your website on Google’s good side…

  • Explain in-depth details about the store: “Get everything you need to sew your next garment. Open Monday-Friday 8-5pm, located in the Fashion District.”
  • Use a snippet from a specific news page: “Upsetting the small town of Whoville, a local elderly man steals everyone’s presents the night before an important event.”
  • Summarize the whole page: “Learn how to cook eggs with this complete guide in 1 hour or less.”
  • Be specific and detailed: “Self-sharpening mechanical pencil that autocorrects your penmanship. Includes 2B auto-replenishing lead…free shipping on $50+”.

Why we care: Knowing what Google is paying attention to can help you improve your rankings and traffic.

It’s especially helpful to get specific guidance on Google’s meta description preferences, given how rarely it uses them… If you’re an SEO, you know what we mean.

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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