I am a newbie at SEO. I was wondering if you put a long tail keyphrase in your meta tag. Will the search engine pick certain words out of the tag when searched for them or will I have to put a few different keywords with minute changes?
By going through the post of Vanessa Fox- Product Manager in google group it confirm that unique Meta description tags for each page help google to determine the distinctiveness of a web. Hence it can not be useless; [groups.google.com...]
In my experience, Meta tags do help a lot for ranking of pages. In highly competitive keywords and long disc keywords have higher rate of conversion. what I mean to say is that instead of ranking 10th for a generic short keyword, I always feel its better to rank first for a less conpetitive keyword which is very specific. I prefer optimizing one keyword a page.