By Neil Patel
I feel sorry for meta descriptions.
Google has long held that meta descriptions do not impact search engine rankings. From a 2007 post on the Google Webmaster Central Blog:
[I]t’s worth noting that while accurate meta descriptions can improve clickthrough, they won’t affect your ranking within search results.
Google reiterated this point yet again in 2009 in a post stating that the meta keywords tag was not used as a ranking signal:
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.
Thus, people have long neglected meta descriptions, pushing them to the back burner or delegating their creation to the lowly intern. Once written, meta descriptions are scarcely given a second glance or further consideration.
Meta descriptions get short shrift because well-written descriptions won’t help your site rank.
Or will they?
Optimized Meta Descriptions ARE Important For SEO
I can make the case that meta descriptions are important for SEO. I’m taking some time to explain this, because my goal in this article is to help you write killer meta descriptions. Once you realize that meta descriptions do have an impact on search ranking, it may inspire you to write better meta descriptions.
The relationship between the meta description and search engine rankings can be described in four points:
- The content in a meta description does not factor into the search ranking algorithm.
- User behavior is factored into the search algorithm.
- Specifically, click-through rate (CTR) is part of the algorithmic ranking process.
- The meta description is the most important feature for improving click-through rate from search results pages.
1. The content in a meta description does not influence the search algorithm.
As far as we know – and we’re trusting Google on this one – their search engine ranking algorithm does not consider meta descriptions as …read more