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SEO News Roundup: Longer Meta Descriptions Recommended

Written by Tom Williams | 19 Dec 2017

Tom Williams explores the latest SEO news, including Google’s recommendation for longer meta descriptions.

Google Recommends Longer Meta Descriptions

According to RustyBrick’s Barry Schwartz, Google is recommending longer meta descriptions for the newly rolled-out longer search snippets.

John Mueller from Google said that if you want to control what those longer search results snippets say in the Google search results – then he said you probably can and should update your meta descriptions to somewhat better control that.

While meta descriptions may not directly affect rankings, they can have an impact on click through rate.

If you want to make sure your search result snippet is clicked, the meta descriptions need to be as compelling and informative as possible.

John Mueller discussed this in further detail during a recent webmaster hangout.

A Year’s Worth of Data on Search Console Beta

If you have access to the beta version of Google Search Console, navigate to the performance report and you’ll find a filter to change the date range.

The option now includes over 12 months of data.

These are the options available:

  • Last 7 days
  • Last 28 days
  • Last 3 months
  • Last 6 months
  • Last 12 months
  • Full duration

Google has promised this change since 2013. Four years later, it’s finally here!

G-Squared Interactive’s Glenn Gabe tweeted:

@glenngabe – On the first day of Christmas, Google gave to me… *12 months of data in the new GSC*!! OMG, here we go folks. I’m seeing 12 months of data in the Search Analytics beta… Happy Holidays to all SEOs.

New Search Console Will Roll Out Next Year

Back in July this year, the new beta version of Google Search Console was unveiled and since then, SEOs and webmasters have been waiting patiently to get into the beta.

Google’s John Mueller has announced a timeline for its release, in response to a Twitter query:

@scotthunt87 – any idea when it’ll be rolled out to everyone yet?

@JohnMu – Early next year is the plan.

Hopefully every SEO and webmaster will have access when this rolls out.

Google Webmasters even tweeted:

“@googlewmc – It’s awesome to see such excitement around the Search Console beta! We’ve added more sites to try it out, so please leave feedback! However, the general release is still a bit away, likely early next year. May the patience be with you!

TLS Upgrade Notifications Won’t Affect Rankings

There were recent security notifications sent to webmasters and SEOs about TLS upgrade requirements.

Google’s John Mueller assured Barry Schwartz that these notifications won’t negatively impact rankings, but are just a “heads up” for webmasters that they need to look at improving the security of their website.

Here’s what John Mueller had to say:

I think for a bunch of different HTTP type issues where people have the configuration wrong we sent out these kind of messages… We added a bunch of new messages just to kind of make sure we have all of the common issues covered.

Did you receive any of these notifications?

Google SEO Starter Guide Gets Makeover

Released in 2008, the original PDF version of Google’s SEO Starter Guide has now been retired, and a new web-based version is available in its place.

This guide hasn’t been updated in years, but the new version “merges Webmaster Academy and the old SEO Starter Guide PDF into this one resource section.

The new version is a more detailed extension of the previous, including fresh sections focused on structured data mark-up, search engine optimisation and how to build mobile-friendly websites.

The new SEO Starter Guide is available in a variety of language including English, Spanish, Italian and Japanese.

More SEO News and Advice

Read last week’s SEO News Roundup: Character Extension for Google Search Results Snippets

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