Support » Plugin: The SEO Framework » Wrong meta description character count ?

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  • Plugin Author Sybre Waaijer


    Hi Nikodemsky,

    Thanks for all the details!

    The counter’s not broken or outdated, it’s just not as complete (yet).

    What this means is that there are numerical guidelines, and pixel guidelines. The counter uses the numerical guideline.

    The pixel guideline for descriptions is quite simple, it is:
    1. The description has to fit within two lines, on 512 pixel width.
    2. While using Arial (sans-serif) at 13px font size and normal font-weight.

    The numerical guideline is based on the pixel guideline. It’s based on tests with an average max length that fits Google’s SERP on those pixel guidelines.

    The issue you’re encountering is that you’re using wide letters.
    For example, “M” are much wider than “i”. And I notice a lot of “M”‘s and “W”‘s in your description. Making it much wider.

    These pixel guidelines (but then with other parameters), also count for the Title. That’s why some titles might be cut off as well, even though they’re in the green zone.

    For the title, the guideline is:
    1. Has to fit within one line, on 512 pixels width.
    2. While using Arial (sans-serif), 18px font size and normal font-weight.

    In the future (it has been in my mind for quite some time now) I’ll certainly do pixel guidelines, but for now, numerical are often fine too :).

    I hope this clears things up, if you’re still in doubt, feel free to ask! Have a great day!

    I literally had no idea, that google use principles like that… always thought, that it is only related directly to number of characters, at least that’s what I deduced from all SEO analysis systems etc. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Also – I understand how it works now, but isn’t like counter is a bit misleading right now as it is ? In most cases people are using lowercases only for first words in sentences, but sometimes it’s not the case.

    Plugin Author Sybre Waaijer


    Hi Nikodemsky,

    My apologies for the late reply.

    Sometimes, a lot of narrow letters are being used, this essentially means you can go over the “guideline”, while still being within the pixel limit.

    It’s a hit-and-miss situation, therefore the letter guideline is not an exact value, but an array (from X to Y). In general, most titles will fall between these guidelines. Of course, in some diacritic languages you might fall over more easily.

    I’m really considering integrating the pixel guideline, but I still have to figure out how to do so within PHP (server side). With JavaScript (browser side) this is much more easily achieved. Both require Google’s Arial Font implementation.

    All of this is relatively heavy on both the user’s browser and the server. So it needs a lot of consideration and testing :).

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