News Courtesy of Yoast.com:
Last week, I wrote about Google’s decision to shorten the meta descriptions. Now, meta descriptions are about the same size as they were half a year ago. But for a couple of months, they were much longer. We got a lot of questions and quite a few people were pretty annoyed — understandably so. Is the length of your meta descriptions that important? Do you need to follow every little thing that Google changes to do well in the search results? Here, I’ll explain why having a great website is the best long-term SEO strategy.
Tweaking comes second
Making an excellent website comes first, but you can tweak loads of things to make your site stand out. Of course, in some niches, competition for rankings in Google can be hard. So, you’ll need to go that extra mile to get the traffic to your site. And in those cases, tweaks such as writing awesome meta descriptions could pay off.
It is important to realize though that tweaking your website always comes second. A kickass meta description can never make up for a crappy site without relevant, quality content.
I’m often conflicted with these same feelings when it comes to Google. If they ask me to jump do I say how high? Getting ranked in Google has a trickle-down effect to the success of your website. Which in turn, can affect how much income you generate. Like anything, I think each aspect of optimization and SEO needs to be researched on a case by case basis. Meta descriptions, for example, aren’t guaranteed to be used in the search results. Rather than go back and change the length of all the previously optimized descriptions, time would better be spent creating new content.
There is no doubt that Google has a stranglehold on the search engine market. However, you don’t have to limit yourself to just optimizing for them. Bing, last year, claimed to have a 33% market share in the U.S. That isn’t as big as Google’s but it shouldn’t be ignored. With smart assistants becoming more popular, the search engine being used to find information is becoming less transparent. Therefore it makes sense to focus on content first instead of catering to what each search engines prefer for SEO. It is similar to link building. You can either write great content and let the links come in naturally, or build satellite sites promoting that piece of content. Neither strategy is wrong, but there will always be a risk/reward scenario when not following a natural path.