Does Yandex Rewrite Meta Descriptions?

A recent study by Ahrefs found that Google does rewrite meta descriptions 62.78% of the time, but what about Yandex?

The answer is Yes, Yandex does rewrite meta descriptions based on the user search query, which is odd,, given that the meta description is a meta tag that Yandex takes into account.

So given that Yandex is extracting content from the page itself if it feels it would provide a better user experience than the one inputted by the user, why use the resource to input one in the first place?

Yandex Advises Against Bad Meta Descriptions

Given that Yandex specifies that it does process meta descriptions, were we know that Google doesn’t, ignoring them might be an opportunity missed.

Yandex have also gone to some effort to outline what bad meta descriptions look like and what should be avoided:

Yandex outlining examples of bad meta descriptions within it’s support documentation

Commercial v Non-Commercial Pages

It’s worth noting that a number of Yandex SEO consultants have observed a trend in that Yandex tends to rewrite the meta descriptions for non-commercial search queries a lot more than it does for commercial queries.

Why’s this important to know? Knowing this means that you can better plan and align resources to prioritise meta descriptions and web pages to yield the most meaningful impact and results.

When optimizing and creating better meta descriptions, these observed changes can be great opportunities to make better ones yourself, especially when Yandex is rewriting descriptions for the important search queries that you’re targeting with that page.

 

Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor is an experienced SEO consultant and has worked with brands and companies on optimizing for Russia (and Yandex) for a number of years. Winner of the inaugural 2018 TechSEO Boost competition, webmaster at HreflangChecker.com and Sloth.Cloud, and founder of RussianSearchNews.com.