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mki

Tool to correctly optimizing title tags and meta tags

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Quick post/tip: Many of the tools tell you to optimize your titles and meta description based on the number of characters, this is wrong, it's the number of pixels.

There's a tool here:

https://totheweb.com/learning_center/tool-test-google-title-meta-description-lengths/

Moz also has a title tag tool but there's no meta description tool.

https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag

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Actually, I think either method is a crap shoot, because of how Google handles it and which fonts are available on the client-side (the user's computer). I've always followed my own rule of thumb, which is to say what you want to say in the first forty characters and then anything else that's less important after that.

When the search results are displayed, there is a rectangle that is 600 pixels wide, by 111 pixels high for each result. Google doesn't actually measure the pixel length of the text, instead they use CSS to control what's displayed like this:

image.png

The key here are the "Overflow" and "Text-overflow" properties - this means (respectively) that any text in the "Title" that works out to be more than 600 pixels wide in the browser is not displayed and an "Ellipsis" is displayed instead to indicate that additional text was in the title, but not displayed.

URL's (the "Green" URL under the title) are handled slightly differently, in that they may be truncated in multiple locations when the URL is exceptionally long. Ultimately, just like the title, the URL uses the same CSS for the final ellipsis.

As far as the Description goes, it's a simple "Span" element that's displayed with other potential elements (like video) that make up the description. Those are controlled both through server-side code and via CSS by Google. 

Just an FYI - that first site you mentioned doesn't always get the description right, as they simply scrape the Description "Meta Tag", which isn't how Google always does it. 

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23 hours ago, BIG Mike said:

Actually, I think either method is a crap shoot, because of how Google handles it and which fonts are available on the client-side (the user's computer). I've always followed my own rule of thumb, which is to say what you want to say in the first forty characters and then anything else that's less important after that.

 

 

I'm going to be honest, I have always previously just done it off the character length.

If it was a big deal, I would wait until Google indexed the content, I would find the page (usually before it ranked on a phrase match search) and adjust it accordingly.

You can usually find the page a few days after indexing by quote searching the exact title.

Obviously sloppy, but the way I used to set up sites, I would post 5-10 or so pages of content immediately after installing and configuring WP.

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On 4/5/2018 at 3:01 PM, mki said:

Quick post/tip: Many of the tools tell you to optimize your titles and meta description based on the number of characters, this is wrong, it's the number of pixels.

There's a tool here:

https://totheweb.com/learning_center/tool-test-google-title-meta-description-lengths/

Moz also has a title tag tool but there's no meta description tool.

https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag

Actually, I'm pretty sure they are still using characters for the meta descriptions, not pixels. They recently expanded it to 320 characters.

I always leave meta descriptions blank though. I prefer to let Google choose a snippet from the content that it feels best matches the search query and their intent. 

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2 hours ago, Mike Friedman said:

Actually, I'm pretty sure they are still using characters for the meta descriptions, not pixels. They recently expanded it to 320 characters.

I always leave meta descriptions blank though. I prefer to let Google choose a snippet from the content that it feels best matches the search query and their intent. 

1

I always either write a hook or do the technique where you try to intentionally have the snippet end with a cliffhanger.

Bad example:

"Did you know that it's possible to save 250$ on blue widgets? The secret to saving money that only the pros know is ..."

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1 hour ago, mki said:

I always either write a hook or do the technique where you try to intentionally have the snippet end with a cliffhanger.

Bad example:

"Did you know that it's possible to save 250$ on blue widgets? The secret to saving money that only the pros know is ..."

I only write them when I am hyper-targeting a very specific phrase. 

Otherwise, a page can rank for so many different search terms and variations that you would never think of, your meta description is likely to not be as relevant as you think for a lot of the search users that see it.

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3 minutes ago, Mike Friedman said:

I only write them when I am hyper-targeting a very specific phrase. 

Otherwise, a page can rank for so many different search terms and variations that you would never think of, your meta description is likely to not be as relevant as you think for a lot of the search users that see it.

It only seems to use the meta description half of the time or so and I figured it tested it somehow. Note: I've never done any experiments to verify that.

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