If you are eager to start experimenting with an AI-writer, read the full article. At the end, I will give you a script to help you write meta descriptions on scale using BERT: Google’s pre-trained, unsupervised language model that has recently gained great momentum in the SEO community after both, Google and BING announced that they use it for providing more useful results.
I used to underestimate the importance of meta descriptions myself: after all Google will use it only on 35.9% of the cases (according to a Moz analysis from last year by the illustrious @dr_pete). In reality, these brief snippets of text, greatly help to entice more users to your website and, indirectly, might even influence your ranking thanks to higher click-through-rate (CTR).
While Google can overrule the meta descriptions added in the HTML of your pages, if you properly align:
- the main intent of the user (the query you are targeting),
- the title of the page and
- the meta description
There are many possibilities to improve the CTR on Google’s result pages. In the course of this article we will investigate the following aspects and, since it’s a long article, feel free to jump to the section that interests you the most — code is available at the end.
- What are meta descriptions?
- How long should your meta description be?
- What meta descriptions should we focus on?
- A quick introduction to single-document text summarization
- Extractive vs Abstractrive
- The carbon footprint of NLP and why I prefer extractive methods to create meta descriptions
- What is BERT?
- Long live AI, let’s scale the generation of meta descriptions with our adorable robot [CODE IS HERE]
- Final thoughts and future work
What are meta descriptions?
As usual I tend to “ask” “experts” online a definition to get started, and with a simple query on Google, we can get this definition from our friends at WooRank:
Meta descriptions are HTML tags that appear in the head section of a web page. The content within the tag provides a description of what the page and its content are about. In the context of SEO, meta descriptions should be around 160 characters long.
Here’s an example of what a meta description usually looks like (from that same article):