META Descriptions ARE important for SEO. Here's why!
 by Casey Markee

META Descriptions ARE important for SEO. Here's why!

  • I thought META descriptions were of no value to SEO as Google doesn't use these in rankings. Is that still the case? Should I still include them in all my pages and if so, should they all be unique?

Keep Calm and Fill-out your META descriptionsAnswer: You are correct that Google does not use META descriptions algorithmically as a ranking factor. This was a change Google announced in 2009 on their official webmasters 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 rankings."

Nevertheless, it's a well-accepted fact that having good, well-written META descriptions can and do inform the snippet (the descriptive text that Google will show for your individual pages) and greatly impacts click-thru rate by prospective visitors.

And that's not the only benefit. META descriptions are in our opinion SUPER important for SEO for a variety of reasons, including:

  • If you don't fill-out the META description Google can and will pull and display content from the page that you don't control. (Confirmed initially in this September 2011 video Q&A).
  • Google will display a maximum of 160 characters as the descriptive text for your site, you WANT to control those 160 characters.
  • When Google displays META descriptions they BOLD target keywords in the description, which again, you can control.
  • Well-written META descriptions with clear call-to-actions result in ...