Yoast SEO 7.6: Shorter meta descriptions are back ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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.

Read more: How to use Yoast SEO to write an awesome meta description »

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.

Update now

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!

Keep reading: Why every website needs Yoast SEO »

Coming up next!

42 Responses to Yoast SEO 7.6: Shorter meta descriptions are back ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  1. nexvan
    nexvan  • 6 years ago

    In the new version, the description of the meta is reduced. Is it necessary to edit the contents of the meta description that is too large?

  2. Nirmal Kumar
    Nirmal Kumar  • 6 years ago

    Okay, that’s the update to reduce meta description. But, about the existing meta descriptions, for which I recently updated them manually to 300 and odd characters?

    Should I spend hours updating all meta descriptions again?

  3. Sebastian
    Sebastian  • 6 years ago

    Thanks for the update. But since the update i can’t change the category title or meta description on my blog. It always go back to “%%term_title%% Archive %%page%% %%sep%% %%sitename%%” even after i changed and saved it. It was the only update on the blog, doesn’t have changed anything else. Could you help or give me a hint. Thanks in advance.

  4. Roberto
    Roberto  • 6 years ago

    Hi, I tried to contact your support but without successo. I am facing this problem: in the articles and pages I get a red light about the meta description length. It says is over the 156 characters even though it is actually under 150 (average 145 to 148). Can you please help on that?

  5. انجام پروژه برق
    انجام پروژه برق  • 6 years ago

    Special Thaks to Yoast team for this update and applying Google changes

  6. Ingrid Siano
    Ingrid Siano  • 6 years ago

    The latest update 7.5.3 to 7.6 destroyed my pagebuilder.
    How can I rollback to 7.5.3?

    Kind regards

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 6 years ago

      Hi Ingrid! We have just released the 7.6.1 update in which it should be fixed! Let me know if it works? Good luck! :)

  7. Digi News
    Digi News  • 6 years ago

    Well thanks for this update as i am afraid of google algorithm changes

  8. Ross Taylor
    Ross Taylor  • 6 years ago

    one is performing negative SEO on my blog. Daily, they are making lots of low-quality backlinks for my site. I am using the Google Disavow tool and uploading all these bad links to it. Am I doing right? I have also read that Google won’t consider low-quality links and there is no need to disavow them. I am confused!

    • Edwin Toonen

      Hi Ross. That’s unfortunate. If you need help with auditing and fixing backlinks I’d advise you to sign up for https://www.linkresearchtools.com/. They have a whole suite of tools to evaluate backlinks.

  9. harsimran2789
    harsimran2789  • 6 years ago

    Shorter meta description really help because the visitor sees the title, permalink and meta description before reaching to your website.
    Your meta description should contain the focous keyword for which you wanna rank on search engine.
    Thanks for this informative post.

  10. Sonia Sonic
    Sonia Sonic  • 6 years ago

    Thanks for explaining everything in a short post.

  11. Sergio Guillén
    Sergio Guillén  • 6 years ago

    Thanks for the update, Edwin!

    • Edwin Toonen

      You’re welcome, Sergio.

  12. Ryan
    Ryan  • 6 years ago

    I just wish that one day people will forget this Google and another search engines takes over it. Sometimes I think they just make changes and updates to piss people off and make things harder on webmasters.

    It’s like they’re on the top and they want to shut off everyone willing to climb the web ladder.
    Just look at their services, Adsense banning people sometimes WITHOUT any apparent reason and they freeze their balance.
    With every product they launch, they want to dominate and suppress the competition instead of making the user decide. Their policies are severe because they think it’s fun to write articles and hope for them to rank for a living.

    If I had billions like most people had, I would have started a search engine just for the fun and joy to compete with them.

    The updates they make on their search engine makes me doubt whether Google is run by an adult or a kid especially with this meta description change, it’s like he woke up one day and said “Hey, let’s make the world shorter!”

    Thanks, Google, because of you my description doesn’t make sense and I have more than 200 posts on SERP. I hope one day, this Google goes bankrupt, everything is possible so enjoy your kingdom Google, while you still can.

  13. Lucas Oliveira
    Lucas Oliveira  • 6 years ago

    I also prefer the short description meta to my projects! Thanks for the info!

  14. Maigy Luong
    Maigy Luong  • 6 years ago

    I am too lazy to change all the old ,,longer,, meta description and also it doesnt matter bcs like in 90% of all cases google still choose and took their own unique meta description. You dont need to take cae about it and feel bad. But I like that yoast revert it back to shorter meta desc.

  15. Ivan Panchev
    Ivan Panchev  • 6 years ago

    If you care about CTR, you should rewrite your meta descriptions as soon as possible.

  16. Lukas
    Lukas  • 6 years ago

    Thank you for this article, because about the length of the description is new information for me.

  17. Opeyemi QUADRI
    Opeyemi QUADRI  • 6 years ago

    Google’s update will never stop. Always coming up with repackaged update.

    Thanks for letting us know this Toonen. Keep them coming.

  18. Ben Kerr
    Ben Kerr  • 6 years ago

    How come yoast news 7.6 removed the options to mark articles as editor’s picks and standout articles?

  19. Mike Cole
    Mike Cole  • 6 years ago

    The most needed feature, thanks for making short description back. Thanks for an update.

  20. Manten
    Manten  • 6 years ago

    Hello, i want back param old character limit meta descriptions to 320, how can I do it?

    • Edwin Toonen

      Hi Manten. That’s not possible right now. You can still write longer meta descriptions though. Just keep writing. Keep in mind that Google determines how your snippet will appear in the search results.

      • Manten
        Manten  • 6 years ago

        Ok, please make in the nearest updates the ability in settings to select the length of the meta description 156, 320, any value or turn it off, thank you.

  21. Azad Ansari
    Azad Ansari  • 6 years ago

    Thanks for the great article Edwin.

  22. Surce Beats
    Surce Beats  • 6 years ago

    That doesn’t make sense at all, a while ago we had to enlarge our meta descriptions up to 320 characters and now we have to shorten them. What a bummer, Google’s always changing how things work just for nothing.

    • Edwin Toonen

      Yeah, I can imagine how you feel. Just remember, Google changed the snippet length and your meta description can be any length. Google will just show a certain amount of characters in the snippets.

  23. Silviu
    Silviu  • 6 years ago

    Hey guys. How do you remove a certain page from the google search appearance snippet? For example, it’s showing some footer pages in there like Disclaimer, Privacy Policy and I would like to remove those so it can show the important pages

  24. Hitesh Dethekar
    Hitesh Dethekar  • 6 years ago

    I too like short meta description for a post i am happy with this update.

  25. rovin singh chauhan
    rovin singh chauhan  • 6 years ago

    no i am not doing short my post description because my posts too many on my website.

  26. Heyy
    Heyy  • 6 years ago

    I’m not going to shorten them after the long work I made to expand them.

  27. Noor Alam
    Noor Alam  • 6 years ago

    I can’t believe I have to shorten my meta descriptions again.

    • Edwin Toonen

      You don’t *have* to change anything. What you do need to do is check how your meta descriptions appear in the search snippet at this moment. If you agree with how they look then all is well, right?

  28. Mohamed Oka AppsAraby
    Mohamed Oka AppsAraby  • 6 years ago

    what about the previous posts,, that is little painful to go through all our old posts and rewrite all meta descriptions from beginning

  29. MillennialDIYer
    MillennialDIYer  • 6 years ago

    Hey there!

    Quick question. The metadescription length was supposedly set from 320 characters back to 156. However I just updated to Yoast 7.6 and the metadescription length limit is at 141 characters. Is this normal?

    It seems a bit odd to me. I would hate to rewrite my metadescriptions again to ≈141 char. only to find out it was a bug and have to expand to 156.

    A confirmation would be appreciated.

    • MillennialDIYer
      MillennialDIYer  • 6 years ago

      After taking a closer look, I suspect it’s just due to the date being included in the character count. Sigh…I wish they would have settled on something between 320 and 156 characters.

      • Irene Strikkers
        Irene Strikkers  • 6 years ago

        Hi MillennialDIYer,
        Your suspicion about the date being included in the character limit is correct :)

  30. valeries
    valeries  • 6 years ago

    Where can I find the Yoast SEO 7.6 plugin?
    It really shouldn’t be so hard to locate on our site?


    • Solucionas
      Solucionas  • 6 years ago

      WTF is google doing with description meta…

      • rohit
        rohit  • 6 years ago

        Short meta description is good, however, the Big G have control over the search results, so making short or long meta description doesn’t work well.