Not too long ago, I was hired by a company to improve the content of their pages. While doing so I also recommended writing their title and description meta tags.
The owner told me that her web technical developer flat out told her not to believe me — that she didn’t need to write her meta descriptions, no matter what I said.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this, and I’m not sure where it originated. It is true that search engines aren’t paying attention to the keyword meta data, but that’s not true about the title and description meta tags.
This past July, Matt Cutts of Google said, “We’re not doing away with the meta description, we’re using it more now than we did seven or eight years ago …”
Cutts then goes on to advise writing useful descriptions so that Google will be more likely to use them on search results pages. He also advises writing different tags for each web page. See his comments here.
I have found that most descriptions I write, Google chooses to show on search results pages because they are useful and they are based on each page’s content.
This makes it more likely that prospects will click through to my clients’ sites, and they get more business as a result.
Easy Web Tip #49: Don’t believe anyone who says meta descriptions are obsolete. Write a different meta description for each of your pages. Base your description on the content of your page and limit it to 155 characters with spaces.