Here's the latest instalment of Digital Marketing Reads, a roundup of some of the more interesting articles we've read lately in the digital marketing world.
In December 2017, Google expanded the length permitted for meta descriptions to 300 characters. Then in May 2018, they reduced the length of the snippet that appears on Google search results to about 160 characters for desktop and 130 characters for mobile (which is slightly longer than what it was before the December 2017 change).
According to this article, “There is no fixed length for snippets. Length varies based on what our systems deem to be most useful. Google will not state a new maximum length for the snippets because the snippets are generated dynamically."
So should you go back and shorten all your meta descriptions? It probably isn't worth it, since most of the time Google will pull the snippet from the page content rather than the meta description tag.
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was finally enforced on 25th May. Maybe you've heard that acronym being thrown around in recent months and looked the other way, but if you run a website that interacts with a EU resident in any way and you're found in violation of this new data privacy regulation, you could be fined up to 20 million euros.
So you best read up on proper protocol. Luckily we've got you sorted: this article is your 10-step guide to ensuring you're compliant with GDPR. Of particular interest for most organisations is obtaining consent from site visitors for any data that's collected, be it browsing data (i.e. cookies) or e-mail addresses (i.e. newsletter sign-ups).
This article tackles the million-dollar question we all want a definitive answer on. Unfortunately, it doesn't really offer that, but it does raise some points worth noting.
The average length of an article on Page 1 of Google is around 1900 words. That doesn't necessarily mean that the longer the article is, the better - remember, content is king. Provide useful, interesting, relevant content in as many words as it takes you without fixating on some number.
They conclude by saying: "Your goal should be to supply the best, most useful (and optimized) version of content for your target audience that matches their intent. Your audience will appreciate it – and your website analytics will reflect that."
Hmm. Guess there's no magic number, then!
Instagram stories only became a thing last year, and until now there's been no way to share stories from other accounts on your own without taking a screenshot and manually posting it as a story yourself.
But after a recent release, you can now re-post stories from other Instagram accounts - but only if you're tagged in them.
By default, your stories are allowed to be shared by others - so if you don't want that, be sure to turn the feature off under Settings.