Well, it was fun while it lasted. In Yoast SEO 7.6, we’re reverting the snippet length for meta descriptions in the snippet editor to follow Google’s latest change. That’s not all though, we’ve also updated our support for the Russian language, added transition words for Catalan, redirect support for WP-CLI and fixed several bugs. Find out all about Yoast SEO 7.6.
Snippets show fewer characters
We’ve talked about Google’s decision to roll back the expanded snippet length for meta descriptions quite a bit. If you’ve been hiding under a rock, Google recently returned to their old character limit for the snippets after upping it to 320 characters for about half a year. Read Marieke’s post about shorter snippets for meta descriptions if you want to know what to make of all this. Of course, this change means that Yoast SEO has to adapt as well. In Yoast SEO 7.6, we’ve changed the length of the meta description field to its old values. This is not a ‘hard’ limit, you’re still welcome to write longer meta desciptions, although these might get truncated in the snippets.
Keep in mind, that your meta descriptions can be much longer — Google has said many times that there is no set limit. With regards to snippets showing the meta description in the search results pages, Google’s Danny Sullivan said that:
“Snippets are automatically created from page content and may vary in length. There’s no way for you to control how much will actually be displayed.”
In addition, Google still likes to show longer snippets in the search results. It also loves to generate its own snippets if it thinks it can do better than yours and these may or may not be based on your meta description. All in all, the snippets you see in the search results pages now tend to shorter than before.
New language updates for Russian and Catalan
In last month’s release — Yoast SEO 7.5 —, we added full language support for Russian. This made it possible for Russian language users to get feedback on their writing and to get links suggested by the internal linking tool. One piece was missing, though. The Flesch reading ease score took a bit more fine-tuning to get it to make sense for the Russian language. That work is done, so you can now use it for Russian as well.
A community effort brought us transition words for the Catalan language. You can use transition words — like ‘contràriament’, ‘resumint’ and ‘en primer lloc’ — to make connections between different parts of your text. Using them well makes your text a lot easier and more enjoyable to read. Find out more in Marieke’s article on transition words and SEO.
Yoast SEO Premium: WP-CLI commands to manage redirects
The command line interface, or CLI, is an excellent tool for developers. It gives them quick access to their whole development environment and beyond that: the world. WP-CLI is WordPress’ CLI and it helps developers to reach, update and develop WordPress sites quickly. Today, we’re introducing a new tool for these developers: WP-CLI commands to manage redirects. These commands let you view, make and edit redirects right from your CLI. Curious? Install WP-CLI and type
wp yoast redirect.
Bugfixes and enhancements
With every new release, we set out to fix bugs to take away small annoyances. Also, we try to enhance the plugin wherever we can to make it run better. In Yoast SEO 7.6, we fixed several bugs concerning keyword usage, translations, warnings and an instance where the button for the internal linking counter didn’t work. Read about all the bug fixes and enhancements in the full changelog for this release.
As always, read up on the update and update whenever you feel ready. If you don’t feel confident updating your live site without testing, please try it out on a test site to see if everything works as it should. Thanks for using Yoast SEO and happy updating!