Ask Yoast:

Importance of using excerpts

Want to know how to create attractive archive pages? And how to increase click-through rates to your posts or pages? Make sure to write short and appealing excerpts for every post or page. The excerpt should be a teaser to get people to read your post.

Is there no downside to adding an excerpt to your pages? What about duplicate content? In this Ask Yoast, we discuss the importance of using excerpts.

This Ask Yoast is all about the following question:

“Why is it important to use the excerpt? Doesn’t Google consider this to be duplicate content?”

Check out the video or read the answer below!

The importance of using excerpts

“The excerpt is that bit of the post, that will be shown on archive pages. So, if you write a specific excerpt for a post, then that excerpt is what shows on archive pages.”

excerpt input field wordpress
The excerpt input field in WordPress

 “Sometimes it’s also shown on your front page if the front page of your site features your blog posts. The excerpt can actually be a very good teaser to get people to read your article.”

excerpt on homepage
Blog post excerpt as shown on an old design of our homepage

“The excerpt is not considered to be duplicate content. In fact, having excerpts for every post prevents having duplicate content, when you have a long archive page which shows more bits of the post. So you should use the excerpt if you can. It’s a bit more work because that means writing an excerpt for every post. But you should if you could. Good luck!”

Read more: How to create the right metadescription »

Ask Yoast series

8 Responses to Importance of using excerpts

  1. Flo
    Flo  • 8 years ago

    I finally see it public, in the past we have contradicted ourselves with professionals of the sector. Thank you

  2. majany
    majany  • 8 years ago

    i think excerpt work just in social media

  3. Greg
    Greg  • 8 years ago

    Great tip! Excerpts are definitely important to catch a visitor’s attention. The article a webmaster wrote is like a movie, and the excerpt is the trailer that makes people want to read it. Bad trailers show too much of the movie, or too little. It’s the same with excerpts: they should explain what your post is about, while keeping a little bit of mystery so that your site’s visitors click to read the rest of the post.

  4. Adeel Sami
    Adeel Sami  • 8 years ago

    Hello, Joost!

    Thank you for putting the lights of the information on the excerpt thing!

    I am always the user of the excerpts because it poses the good impression on the readers, too.

    So, if it is not auto-build, I write my own but do not leave it empty.

    Thanks again for the wonderful content (as always)!

    ~ Adeel

  5. Rayhan Islam
    Rayhan Islam  • 8 years ago

    Thank you very much for this article. I am using a custom theme on my site and it automatically creates the excerpts of my content.
    Is it necessary to add different excerpts for a post?
    Thanks in advance.

  6. Patrick
    Patrick  • 8 years ago

    I put a more-tag after my first sentences, so i don’t have to write a separate intro. I write my first sentences teaser-like. Works for me, bur is there any disadvantage to that, compared to a separate intro?

  7. CAD Economy
    CAD Economy  • 8 years ago

    First of all, we, CAD Economy would like to thank you guys for such a great product with great insights. YOAST is the only one reason why all of our blogs are in the top position in Google for their targeted keywords. Keep up the Great Work Guys!

  8. Nerdy Ape
    Nerdy Ape  • 8 years ago

    I totally agree with you on this. It is totally worth the effort to write an excerpt for every post. It pays off in the long term. Thanks!

Check out our must read articles about Content SEO