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meta description - what's it good for?

does google use it or not?

8:07 pm on Jun 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I see people talk about the meta description all the time as if it's important - but I haven't seen anything recently suggesting what it's actually used for.

I haven't seen google actually use it when displaying the SERPs. I've seen a few reports of google using it in certain cases - but it's certainly the exception.

There seems to be some impression that it may help if you have keywords in your site that match up with keywords in your meta description. Anyone have any evidence?

I have a decent meta description for the main page of my site - but nothing for the other pages. I'm trying to decide if it makes sense to develop ones for the rest of my pages.

I'm sure engines besides google use it - but I'm not really inclined to go out of my way for the smaller engines.

I did a little searching but couldn't find a good answer any place in the forums.


8:14 pm on June 19, 2004 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Recent (and very good post) about the subject:
2:51 pm on June 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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From what ive seen, they dont use the meta description at all. After all, they dont display it to the user, and they know how easy it is to manipulate so it doesnt make sense that they would use it at all.

Weve experimented a lot with this and we have seen no impact.

8:09 pm on July 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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A new page of mine, indexed in the last 48 hours, shows the META descr. as the Google descr.

Trust me, there are times when G DOES use the meta description. It might count for very little, but it counts.

9:12 pm on July 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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MSN and Yahoo use it. Google only uses it in some cases where it can't get a good snippet.

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