It is so tough for me to write a summary and keep it within the word limit. When you reach the limit, that's it....
I see other summaries that are quite lengthy when I see other Hubs. Is there a "work around"?
I was thinking the same thing, as they say write a really good summary, but one can hardly so do in the limited amount of characters they provide. I think that if you do not right a summary, well, it used to pull the exact words from your first paragraph and so it is longer, but not sure if it will allow you to do so now or if they deduct points for letting it just do itself in that manner? That way may have been grandfathered in, not sure though?
Mary and Faith, count me in on this dilemma. It's tough to summarize some hubs in a word limit. Wonder if HP has a new way to do the summary?
I have some older hubs that have longer summaries, I think that HubPages have shortened the allowed length of summaries to fall in line with the search engines. When I edit an old hub with a longer summary, I am forced to cut it down. It is tough to come up with a shorter summary, I usually do it last and think about it while I am completing working on the capsules etc.
Robbie has it right. I have found that it is unpleasant to revise the longer summaries however, they do seem to be more concise and to the point which is better for the search engines.
What helps me is I try to think about how I would summarize it on twitter, and I go from there.
Maybe I need to practice being shy and reserved in my summaries.
The thing to remember is this:
A SUMMARY IS NOT A SUMMARY
It's a teaser. It's there to entice your reader to read more. It's the short description people see below the title of your Hub on Google.
Think of it like the blurb on the back of a novel. If you summarised the whole story in the blurb, no one would bother to read the novel, would they?
I've often thought HubPages should use a different name for it. Maybe "teaser" would be a good one!
Hahn . . .now I understand, I will use the teaser mindset from now on.
That's a great way to think of the summary, Marisa.
Marisa, that is a great way to think of it.
I think Marrisa's suggest is more accurate also. When I go into my old hub I always have to shorten the summary to comply with the words. it is time consuming since I have written so many hubs, but what choice do we really have?
You are right. I now have to shorten my summaries, and that's fine. I will just have to re-educate myself. I wish HP would go back to the "tag system," which you remember, made it easier to categorize our works.
Yes they were handy, but they didn't help Google because Google couldn't see them. They were purely to aid internal navigation, not like blog tags at all - that was a common misconception.
People had asked for the summary section to be shorter, because Google only reads a certain number of characters and truncates the rest. I wonder if this change was made without notifying anyone. I haven't checked the summaries when I edit a hub, and may have missed some that needed to be changed.
The 'Summary' on HubPages is coded as the 'Description Tag' for the webpage of your Hub. What this means is that Google will use this most of the time when your Hub shows on search engine results pages (SERP). Your summary should be an advertisement for your Hub, encouraging people to click on the SERP listing and read your Hub. Regardless of what HubPages allows, Google will only note 157 characters (including spaces) for the Description Tag. For best results, use your keyword phrases in the Summary and use no more than 157 characters (including spaces).
Thanks for that, Writer Fox. I have learned to cut down on spaces. I no longer double space between sentences. I guess grammar is not so important, but rather using keyword phrases.
You don't even have to use complete sentences. Check what your competition is doing by looking at their listing on a SERP. If you want to see some of mine, I duplicate the 'Summary' (Description Tag) in the actual text at the very beginning of each of my Hubs. It's a technique that works.
Eversince HP shortened the summaries to be in line with Google, I treat my rewrites as a challenge, a writing exercise, if you will. How can I say what I need to say in so many words? How can I rearrange the pieces of this word puzzle to make it all fit and still make sense, based on the rules of grammar and sentence structure?
I suggest the following:
1) Let go of the need to give a smart and sexy, creative, poetic description of your hub. The readers will get that once they read your hub.
2) Take out or decrease the use of adjectives and adverbs. They are adding unnecessay letters to your word count.
3) Learn to play the game of semantics and expand your knowledge of words that can say what you want to say but in more concise ways. Use a thesaurus.
4) Decrease the use of conjuntions ("and", "but") and conjunctives ("thus", "than", "still", "however").
They also add unnecessary characters to your word count.
You may think your summary is boring but it's suppose to be a very basic but interesting lead in to get your reader's attention.
After reading all these great replies and suggestions, I think I'll get busy editing my summaries!
In a way I think, its good to have 'word limit' for a summary. People tend to write long paragraphs, which no one has the time to read.
The summary must be 'catchy' and should enthuse the reader to go through the whole article.
Just as we used to write 'Precis' of a chapter in school days.
When we go to buy a book, we normally go to the back page and scan through the small paragraph printed there. It is this read, which helps us decide whether the book is worth buying or not.
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