Do Meta Descriptions Help SEO – It Seems NotOn April 27, 2022 by admin
Google continues to reveal little pieces of information that affect how we undertake SEO programs. The latest from Matt Cutts didn’t hold much in the way of surprises – at least not at first read.
Meta tags have long been used to give keywords a little boost along. We have known for a long time that Google doesn’t take any notice of the Meta Keyword tag, at least, not when it comes to search rankings. But what about the Meta Description tag.
We have written in the past about writing a good Meta Description tag. Google will often use this tag as the snippet that accompanies search results. I have read many posts that have also recommended ensuring the Meta Description tag was optimized for your keywords as well. Perhaps it’s time to clarify this area.
Matt Cutts – Official Google Webmaster Central blog:
Even though we sometimes use the description meta tag for the snippets we show, we still don’t use the description meta tag in our ranking.
You can’t get much simpler English than that. Since the Meta Description tag has no affect on rankings does that mean you shouldn’t optimize it for keywords anyway?
There are two questions to consider. The first is very simple – Google is NOT the only search engine in town. Can you be sure that Yahoo! and Bing do not use either the Keyword or Description meta tags when calculating rankings? Secondly, will optimizing them for keywords hurt your search engine rankings?
Taking the second question first, there is no evidence to suggest that using and optimizing these tags will hurt your rankings. To answer the first question, rumour has suggested that Yahoo! still uses the Keyword meta tag as a guide when it comes to ranking a page for a particular keyword. If that is the case, use the Keyword meta tag but use it wisely – don’t bother cramming it full of keywords.
The Description tag has a more important role to play than keywords and SEO. If the Description tag does faithfully describe the page then it will get used as the snippet in search results. It is in fact the only means you have to sell your page to users – rather than thinking SEO and keywords – think about how you can describe your page whilst making it sound attractive enough to win the searcher’s click.
If your pages are ranking well then your SEO program is working. If you are not getting a steady flow of traffic, perhaps your description isn’t working well – it’s time to concentrate on attracting visitors rather than keywords.
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