Publication: May 2020
Google indexing is not a constant. Frequent doubts appear in the meta tag description. So please note that the content refers to the time of its publication.
The meta tag description is still important for search engine users, but also as a potentially important criterion for a rating by Google, which is not always used as a criterion if other criteria prevail.
Regarding the length, a number of 90 to 140 characters was valid until 2017 (often also specified up to 160). Since then, Google has experimented with descriptions of around 300 characters. But whether the short and long descriptions are displayed depends on the searches that users perform. And from Google:
“Sometimes we show more, sometimes we show less, and that's something that I sometimes find difficult.” (John Mueller, 2017)
Google gives the following advice:
Just try testing the searches that Google Search Console has carried out for the website and look at the results page on Google Search (also known as SERP - Search Engine Result Page). If the result is satisfactory for you, i.e. the description appears sufficient, there is no need for action. If the description could be a little more detailed, you can adapt it. This can have a positive effect on the click-through rate (CTR) if the longer description motivates more users to click, although it is not the case that the snippet with the long description is actually shown by Google. Concerning. the page ranking, as far as the content from the perspective of Google Bots remains the same, this does not affect the ranking of your page.
Google itself says that you should consider whether the work involved in revising hundreds or thousands of descriptions will pay off. So you should actually only create a longer description for all new pages, or for very important, already existing pages, where a longer description could improve the click-through rate.
As already mentioned, insofar as an existing short description provides a qualitative summary of the content, adding words does not improve the position on Google. When displayed, it can give the user more useful information. This should be considered when creating new content. Existing short but good descriptions do not need to be changed.