Yoast’s popular WordPress SEO plugin has released its last update of the year (6.0)! The plugin has made a change in-line with Google’s recent decision to increase the description length to a maximum of 320 characters.

The limit was debated extensively between Google and the Yoast SEO team. The previous limit was 156 characters which have now been increased to 320 characters.

Should I Update My Descriptions?

Before you begin to worry, there is no real immediate value in rewriting your meta descriptions. For very large websites it would be difficult and pointless to change them all. However, if you have archive pages that you are trying to rank for primary categories it would be a good idea to revisit and update them as well. In addition, if you have any “cornerstone content” as Yoast dubs it then, by all means, you should go ahead and update their descriptions.

It also would be a good idea to go ahead and pick a couple of categories or tags and use them as test pages first to see if Google is picking it up.

Smaller Changes In The Yoast SEO Update

The plugin made some other minor improvements including allows you to add custom page titles and meta descriptions on the WooCommerce shop page, and you can add custom metadata to your WooCommerce pages.

Then there were some minor changes to the UI to explain certain features and provide more insight for users.

6.0.0

Release Date: December 20th, 2017

Enhancements:

  • Adds support for custom page titles and meta descriptions on the WooCommerce shop page. Props Caleb Burks.
  • Adds support for custom page social titles and descriptions on the WooCommerce shop page.
  • Adds a link to the Google Knowledge Graph article on Yoast.com. Props Raaj Trambadia.
  • Adds a link to an article on Yoast.com on why it might be a bad idea to use the same keyword more than once.
  • Changed the meta description maximum recommended length from 156 to 320 characters.

Bugfixes:

  • Disables the mark buttons of the content analysis when switched to text view.
  • Hides the mark buttons when the WYSIWYG editor is not loaded or the filter wpseo_enable_assessment_markers returns false.
  • Security hardening through stricter code checks.

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