The character limit for our article summary is 300 characters, yet only a portion of those characters show up beside our article on our profile page. Does anyone know if it is advantageous --in terms of generating more views--to leave our article summary at 300 characters (and not worry about a portion of our summary being chopped off on our profile page) or if it is to our advantage to shorten our summary so that the entirety of our summary shows up on our profile page?
My apologies if this questions has been answered already; I did not see the answer when I searched the forums.
I've had trouble keeping summaries down to the limit of characters too. I don't know if it matters, but I agree that I would try to end it and not have it end in mid sentence because I ran out of room. It's just neater that way.
Thanks for your feedback, Jean. I agree with you.
is it 300 characters or words?
I'm afraid I can't fully answer the question; none of my words seem to be cut off, but that may just be because my summaries don't typically extend past 150 characters. Maybe someone else can chime in, but I'll point out that not many views come from our profile pages, so hopefully it's not a big issue either way.
For aesthetics, though, I know I might be unsatisfied if some characters were chopped off, especially if it gave the impression that I just left off in the middle of a sentence.
Thanks, Jeremy. I agree that it looks much better if our summaries aren't chopped off on our profile page. Glenn's response indicates I could benefit from revising at least some of my summaries. Sounds like yours may already be good to go.
HubPages increased the character limit to 300 for summaries in early April ( about six weeks ago) to match the increase Google made to show in the SERPs. However they never changed the display length in the profile. I already reported this and am in communication with staff about the entire issue. I also started a forum thread about this several weeks ago.
The problem is that Google was only experimenting, and since then they decreased the limit to around 160 characters again. So HubPages needs to reevaluate this situation now and may lower it back to where Google has it.
We don’t know what Google will end up doing. I wouldn’t be surprised if they increase it again in the future. So it’s best that HubPages takes it slow and not make further drastic changes. For now, Matt said that HubPages has several options being examined.
My advice for now is to keep your summaries below 160 characters so the entire thing fits in the SERPs. That will also display in full on the profile listings. If you do want to include up to 300 characters (in case Google begins to use that again), just make sure the most important part of the summary is within the first 160 characters.
Thanks for your response, Glenn--it is greatly appreciated. I do recall you addressing this topic on the forums several months ago--I couldn't find your post. I used to have my summaries at 160 characters or less back when that was the limit. Then when they increased the limit to 300, I extended my summaries, only to later realize they weren't being displayed on our profile page in their entirety. I will follow your suggestions and revise them as needed. Thank you again!
I put the link to my earlier thread in my previous post. Click the blue text.
It was not a drastic change. Google was showing 300+ characters since November 2017 and I only suggested it to Paul sometime in March. There is absolutely no harm in having longer meta descriptions, so I do not see why HP should lower the limit again. The meta description does not have any SEO weight, it just serves as an ad on the search results page.
We discussed all that in March. I think it does hurt when the summary is truncated. People expect to see the continuation in the article, but the summary may not necessarily be the same as the start of the hub.
When truncated in the SERPs another issue comes up. You must make sure that the first 160 characters is the most important part.
I agree that it serves as an ad on the search results page, so that’s why the first 160 characters must work as the ad. The rest is lost since Google went back to truncating at 160 characters in May.
Not really. If you have two to three main keywords you want to show up for, you can use the 300 characters very well. Google shows the most relevant part of the meta description or at times it scrapes stuff from the article itself. So when you know what you're doing it is very easy to get all of your 300 characters showing, albeit for different search phrases, for the best impact on your CTR across the board.
I agree with you, and it is true that they may take snippets from the content to service the best interest of the person searching. However, as far as the length of the meta description is concerned, did you notice that Google reduced it back to 160 characters in May?
See this article (Matt sent it to me):
https://www.compose.agency/insights/met … ength-2018
Yes, I did notice that. I was one of the few people who pointed it out at the beginning on a FB group where many of the writers who post these blog posts hang out.
If you read my post again, you will see that I did not just say that Google picks a description from the content of the webpage, I also say that Google can pick sections from a meta description. It is NOT always the first 160 or so characters that show. So retaining the 300 character meta description (on HP) is actually beneficial in terms of traffic.
Yes, I was aware of how you said that Google picks parts of the meta description and not just the beginning. But where did you get that information? The things I was reading suggest putting the most important part in the first 160 characters.
On-Page SEO is what I have been specialising in since I was 18, so it's from personal experience and a lot of testing. Also, others in the clan if I may call it that, do the same and see the same results. Putting the most important part in the first 160 characters is definitely something I do. But there are other important parts that can follow, just that they are not the most important.
Getting the perfect meta description is a lot of work as you need to modify it to make sure that Google shows the right part for the right terms. But when done right, CTR goes up a lot.
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