The meta description is a very important HTML tag for a site's SEO. Webmasters can easily use it to influence their site's search snippets. It can directly influence your click-through rate from the search results, which is a key multiplier to the number of clicks a site gets from the search engines.
This hints section highlights occurrences of typical issues with meta descriptions.
Issues with meta descriptions on a website can lead to lower click-through rate from the search results.
Example: Audisto Meta Description Check with the decriptions hint reports for the current crawl
Here is the list of all specific hints related to meta descriptions, that can be identified with the help of the Audisto Crawler.
If the meta description is missing or empty, the URL is flagged with this hint. Use this report to identify all URLs that are missing a proper meta description.
<html> <head> ... <meta name="description" content=""> ...
The meta description is usually the first choice for the description text that appears in search result snippets. If the meta description is missing, you give up control over the appearance of your pages in search results. Search engines will instead use parts of the page content as a description, which might lead to unexpected appearance of a site's snippets in search results.
We suggest that you use proper meta descriptions for all pages that are supposed to be indexed by search engines.
If a meta description is found more than once in the HTML, the URL is flagged with this hint.
<html> <head> ... <meta name="description" content="First meta description"> <meta name="description" content="Second meta description"> ...
Having more than one meta description can lead to unpredictable display of the document in search results. This may result in lower user engagement and therefore a drop in user signals for your website. This may eventually hurt the rankings of your website.
There should only be one meta description for a document.
Error scenarios like this usually appear due to different software automatically adding meta descriptions. If this issue occurs on a large scale, check if there is a script or CMS plugin automatically adding meta descriptions to your webpages.
If the meta description is too long to be displayed in the snippet in search results, the URL is flagged with this hint.
<html> <head> ... <meta name="description" content="Example.com - The very best long meta descriptions online - We have one of the longest meta descriptions on the internet."> ...
If the meta description is too long to be displayed in search result snippets, it will be shortened by the search engine. This usually results in less appealing snippets and lower user engagement. Lower user engagement might lead to negative user signals, which can be regarded as a ranking factor by modern search engines and eventually lead to worse rankings of the site in search results.
We suggest that you analyze the click-through rates from search results to URLs that have a meta description which is too long to be shown properly in search snippets. If a URL flagged with this hint performs poorly in terms of click-through rate, you may want to consider shortening the meta description.