The Great Manifesto Of Bad (and good) Descriptions

The Great Manifesto Of Bad (and good) Descriptions



While having duplicated text for one article on the whole website isn't great, it's obviously better to provide good reading experience for all other, newer articles.

Sometimes it's just impossible to be sure that the text in the description will be meaningful.

Now to the issue

All this cases you've linked are actually different from this one. Mostly because they have more suitable text for description. However, this is not the case for this article.

Text "MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Thursday at the World Cup (all times local):" in the description does not make any sense. Especially without "12 a.m." like you do in your template:

Your description isn't good in this case. Imagine being a user and sending this link to your friend. What can that incoherent text even mean?

But if your friend will receive this:

I guess you'll agree it's not a big deal. ESPECIALLY for one article from 2018.

Why it's a bad idea to take first paragraph

Generally just because it's inconsistent. I've linked a lot of recent examples where first paragraph contains information that just can't describe article properly. And you can see that OG description is just flawless, except for one article from 2018, ofc.

Here goes:

First paragraph is bad source for description in this case. It's just an introduction to the article, not description. Meta contains perfect description: "This is a very interesting move from Liverpool! What should Real Madrid do now?!"

First paragraph duplicates title. Description contains text that shortly describes what this article is about: "The former Manchester United and Chelsea boss is planning his return to the dugout, but Jose..."

First paragraph doesn't describe article well. Meta, however, does: "Paul Pogba to Real Madrid is almost DONE! Only one thing stands in the way now. And, Barcelona are all set to lose one of their key players."

First paragraph is reeeaally long. Meta is short and sharp: "Zinedine Zidane declares that Real Madrid are still the most successful team in La Liga regardless of Barcelona's recent dominance."

First paragraph contain information that is not really important to understand what this article is about. Meta is clear and shiny: "Hugo Boumous is the first foreigner to sign a three-year contract in the #HeroISL"

Just too long first paragraph. Meta: "Why Joel Matip is the most underappreciated Liverpool player this season? Find out here:"

Again, really long description. Meta: "Former Chelsea star believes although Eden Hazard is good, he is no Lionel Messi.". Definitely better.