SEO perspective-wise, nothing really earth-shattering happened this week. We take this opportunity to point out a study and an article offering useful tips for search engine optimization.
HOW LONG CAN META-TITLES AND META-DESCRIPTION BE?
Felix Meyer from Seokratie has measured and checked which snippet tools deliver the best results. Google itself does not offer a tool into which one could enter title and description and then the optimal length would be displayed. There is a simple reason for this: Google wants to keep all doors open when it comes to the length of the title and description.
An incorrect length of title and description is therefore not a direct ranking signal. In principle, one could also write a very long title: In its full splendour, however, no user would ever see it. Space on the search results page (SERP) is limited. Google therefore simply cuts off titles that are too long. Not only does this look unattractive, it also usually doesn’t encourage you to click. Indirectly, therefore, the length of title and description is a ranking signal.
As far as the descriptions are concerned, Google sports the opinion that it knows best what users would like to read there. In almost 60% of the cases, Google extracts the text for the description itself from the content. This way it can react to the entered search term and the individual search history. Nevertheless, nobody should refrain from entering a description: It provides Google with important clues as to what the page in question is aimed at.
TITLE AND DESCRIPTION ARE DISPLAYED DIFFERENTLY ON MOBILE DEVICES THAN ON DESKTOP COMPUTERS
Therefore, it is not so easy to give general recommendations for their length. The study by Seokratie comes to the conclusion that a title should have a maximum of 569 pixels or 65 characters. Since mobile also wraps the title into a second line, your title should be at least 40 characters or about 330 pixels long. This is how your site gets more attention in the SERPs.
A description should be at least 100 characters long and no more than 290 characters long. Whether the full description is displayed is always decided by Google on a case-by-case basis. It is recommended to always put the most important things at the beginning of the description. The end result should rather be a request to visit the site or a call-to-action. If this is not displayed, users still know what they can expect on the site.
According to the study, Screaming Frog’s tool was the most reliable. However, first the tool needs to be downloaded. If you just want to check for the right length quickly, you can also visit Torben Leuschner’s tool. This does not warn you if your title or description becomes too long, but you now know how long they can or should be.
This suspicion is obvious when you look at a new patent. According to this patent, Google is working on getting to know things, people and places better. The key term for this is “entities”. In the field of Semantics, this means clearly recognizable terms with characteristic properties. Google has patented the answer to the question of how such entities can be used for a search engine.
At its core, this patent amounts to a huge database of semantic entities in which the relationships between the entities are recorded. Google is thus further freed from dependence on backlinks. For each search query, Google can now refer to this database to see which terms semantically belong to the search term entered. The names Barack Obama, George Bush and Bill Clinton, for example, often appear on pages that at least touch on the topic of “US President”. Google recognizes these relationships and can therefore also refer to pages in which the individual names mentioned appear, but not the term “US President”.
All this is not entirely new, but joins seamlessly into the holistic-semantic restructuring of the search engine. The patent and the entity database refine and complete Google’s understanding of terms. Ronald Reagan, for example, should be mentioned far more frequently as “US President” than as an actor. Although Reagan was an actor for much longer, Google “knows” that the term “Ronald Reagan” is almost always aimed at the term “US President”.
This is extremely important for online marketing. This way Google can give better weight to the content of pages. When asked about “Ronald Reagan”, it will therefore be preferable to have pages that also have something to say about the topic “US President”. In other words, Google no longer relies on links to create relationships between terms and topics. It has a database in which the relationships between the words (or rather “entities”) are stored and can be retrieved. The whole thing is like a kind of entity page rank – only much more powerful. Since this is only a patent, you should definitely continue to work on the link profile of your pages.