According to a recent study, it is found that more than 70% of the time Google ignores the meta description of the first search result page. The study inspects over 30,000 keywords.

It has been analyzed that Google rewrites meta description for mobile at a rate of 71% and 68% for desktop. Based on the study, it is visible that only 30% of the time Google uses the page’s own meta description.

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Rewrite Rate By Search Position

The primary focus of the study was on the organic search results of the first page. The study didn’t include featured snippets.

Portent Says

I speculate that since positions 1-3 get the most click-through rate, Google might be trying to boost the relevance for 4-6 to get more clicks before users leave the page or search for something else.

The study finds that for the 4 to 6 position there is hype in the rate of meta description rephrasing. The main reason for rewriting the meta description could be Google wants to uplift the relevancy of those results.

Rewrite Rate By Search Volume

It has been observed that the keyword that has high search volume, are less likely Google rephrases its meta description.

Portent guesses this happens because SEO specialists give priority in writing meta descriptions for the keywords that have high search volume on monthly basis.

So why do we see this relationship? I think it’s because SEOs tend to focus on writing meta descriptions for head terms more than the long-tail…

You’re probably not hyper-focusing on the 10 searches per month terms, and they probably vary too much to even target with any one description.

Display Length Of Meta Description

1. For Mobile

The length of the meta description on mobile for snippet ranges from 95 to 105 characters along with publication date. For without publication date it varies from 118 to 121 characters.

On mobile when Google rephrases the meta description it will display near about 114 to 121 characters without a date. With dates, it comes to 99 to 105 characters.

2. For Desktop

If a date is displayed on a desktop then the character length for a meta description is near about 142 characters.

When Google rewrites the meta description with the date then 147 to 149 characters will be displayed. Without a date, Google displays between 160 to 167 characters.


Rewriting of meta description is more likely to be dependent on where the page is ranking. Another crucial factor that can vary is how many characters Google allows to display for the meta description.

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