HuskyPup - 4:49 pm on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)
Google people have repeatedly explained that they don't use the meta description as a ranking factor.
I'm not so sure about that:-)
I did a massive rebuild of a 10 year old site over the summer and one of the many things I concentrated upon was ensuring really good meta descriptions. All the pages which had slipped a little down the first page have now returned to their former top 1-3 positions.
Ok, I did do everything according to my bible therefore it could be the h1, it could be me cleaning up code, it could be adding synonyms, it could be adding further tech info, it could be more accurate image alt and title, it could be whatever, the point is that all these pages do now show that meta description in the Google SERPs which is repeated ad verbatim futher down the actual page.
I feel I'm right however cannot conclusively prove it!