Here’s Google’s Control your snippets in search results documentation on tweaking your snippet in search results now includes some “bad” vs. “better” meta description examples.
Bad: Avoid These 4 Types of “bad” Meta Descriptions
- List of keywords: “Sewing supplies, yarn, colored pencils, sewing machines, threads, bobbins, needles”
- Same description used for every news article: “Local news in Whoville, delivered to your doorstep. Find out what happened today.”
- Doesn’t summarize the page: “Eggs are a source of joy in everyone’s life. When I was a small child, I remember picking eggs from the hen house and bringing them to the kitchen. Those were the days.”
- Too short: “Mechanical pencil“
Better: Googles “better” Meta Description Examples
- Explains what the shop sells and details like opening hours and location. “Get everything you need to sew your next garment. Open Monday-Friday 8-5pm, located in the Fashion District.”
- Use a snippet from the specific news article: “Upsetting the small town of Whoville, a local elderly man steals everyone’s presents the night before an important event. Stay tuned for live updates on the matter.”
- Summarize the whole page: “Learn how to cook eggs with this complete guide in 1 hour or less. We cover all the methods, including: over-easy, sunny side up, boiled, and poached.”
- Are specific and detailed. “Self-sharpening mechanical pencil that autocorrects your penmanship. Includes 2B auto-replenishing lead. Available in both Vintage Pink and Schoolbus Yellow. Order 50+ pencils, get free shipping.”
The document. In October, Google published documentation on how to control the snippets in your search results. You can see all of the new additions by clicking here.
Why should we care? While this isn’t anything out of the ordinary, it’s good to see Google give some more in-depth instruction on how to create helpful and descriptive meta descriptions that are more likely to get clicks and traffic. Of course, we may never count on Google to utilize those meta descriptions.