Does Long Meta Descriptions (Past Yoast's Rec.) Directly Affect Ranking?

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Title says it all.

Longer meta descriptions might affect CTR which affects ranking but that's an indirect route.

Question is, does long meta descriptions directly affect ranking?
Also, does a longer than suggested meta title directly affect ranking? Yoast recommends 50–60 characters.

Yay or Nah to Yoast's rec?
 
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Yoast recommends around 155 characters, not 50 to 60.

If you go any longer, two things will happen. Google will truncate it and not show it all, or Google (and they usually do this anyways) will use a different part of the page that features words from the query.

I say there's anything to be gained from extremely long meta descriptions or meta title. They should use your keyword and attract clicks.
 
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@Thoth
50-60 Characters for Meta Titles
155 Characters for Meta Descriptions

I understand Google will truncate it. And I understand Google will also use another part of the page that features the word from the query. However, you missed the question. Will this DIRECTLY AFFECT RANKING?
 

Ryuzaki

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Meta Descriptions are probably the weakest ranking factor out of all of them, including all of the ones within the on-page, off-page, technical SEO, and page speed areas, etc. It's so weak that I'd call it negligible, and it's so negligible that I think you can get away with not even using them. Though I do personally use them because why not get an edge everywhere you can.

But as far as having them be longer than what's shown, I doubt it would have any impact over cutting them off at ~150 characters (same goes for titles at ~50 characters).

My advice is to focus on two things:
  1. Make sure your search phrase is featured in both (once each) in the visible amount of characters
  2. Entice the user to click through, using bait in the titles and cliffhangers in the descriptions
Basically what @Thoth said. Beyond that, you're spending too much time on them. Definitely don't keyword stuff in the titles, as well.
 

fatalityhawk

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I have heard Kyle Roof mention that Google will consider the keywords in Meta Title up till 70 characters, so no harm even if you cross the 55 Characters mark, plus the truncated part ( ... ) leaves curiosity in the user's head, making them click-through
Hope that helps!
 
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I have heard Kyle Roof mention that Google will consider the keywords in Meta Title up till 70 characters, so no harm even if you cross the 55 Characters mark, plus the truncated part ( ... ) leaves curiosity in the user's head, making them click-through
Hope that helps!

I don't believe that at all. SEO claims by SEO gurus are as valid as weather predictions made by medicine men. They're incentivized to build their brand, authority, and reach with sensational claims, not improve your site's traffic. The fact that you mentioned his name adds to his authority and social proof (until I destroy it). However, I'd recommend anyone who wants to use this potential optimization point to test it out themselves with their own rigorous methodology. If he is right, hurray!, you get extra SEO points. If he's wrong, you wasted your time. I, however, am gonna stick to what's visible to the searcher, as it's obvious that it'll be counted. Anything else is hearsay.
 

fatalityhawk

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I don't believe that at all. SEO claims by SEO gurus are as valid as weather predictions made by medicine men. They're incentivized to build their brand, authority, and reach with sensational claims, not improve your site's traffic. The fact that you mentioned his name adds to his authority and social proof (until I destroy it). However, I'd recommend anyone who wants to use this potential optimization point to test it out themselves with their own rigorous methodology. If he is right, hurray!, you get extra SEO points. If he's wrong, you wasted your time. I, however, am gonna stick to what's visible to the searcher, as it's obvious that it'll be counted. Anything else is hearsay.
Yeah, I wouldn't quote him but he showed a test for it in one of his webinars, and how to set it up, moreover I have personally found longer meta titles to have a higher CTR, so not JUST quoting him here but he gave me the initial idea. Credit where it's due. =)
 
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Yeah, I wouldn't quote him but he showed a test for it in one of his webinars, and how to set it up, moreover I have personally found longer meta titles to have a higher CTR, so not JUST quoting him here but he gave me the initial idea. Credit where it's due. =)
I just came across the test. The test shows that Google indexes keywords past the "..." in the title but the test doesn't show that those keywords past the "..." have any ranking weight or a reduced ranking weight or the same ranking weight as keywords that are visible.

It has been the general consensus that keywords to the left are the most important keywords. If keywords are so far to the right that they're no longer visible, they probably have a greatly reduced ranking factor.
 

secretagentdad

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I never ever use them over.

use to rank fine doing that lol.
 
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I only manually write out meta descriptions for pages that convert like a mother fucker. Got bigger fish to fry than the shit Google rewrites 70% of the time anyways..
 

Ryuzaki

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I only manually write out meta descriptions for pages that convert like a mother fucker. Got bigger fish to fry than the shit Google rewrites 70% of the time anyways..
Yeah, This conversation is like asking "should I tie the boulder to the mountain with the pink rubber band or the blue rubber band". The color doesn't matter and the boulder is going to tumble down either way.

What I do is write a custom introduction to "hook" the reader in and include my keyword near the start. Then I copy and paste that to the meta description box and truncate it with ellipses. And I never think about it again. I wouldn't bother for this 0.000001% competitive edge if it took me more than 3 extra seconds.
 
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Yeah, This conversation is like asking "should I tie the boulder to the mountain with the pink rubber band or the blue rubber band". The color doesn't matter and the boulder is going to tumble down either way.

What I do is write a custom introduction to "hook" the reader in and include my keyword near the start. Then I copy and paste that to the meta description box and truncate it with ellipses. And I never think about it again. I wouldn't bother for this 0.000001% competitive edge if it took me more than 3 extra seconds.
I wouldn't even both to copy and paste the first paragraph as Google defaults to the intro paragraph anyways.