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An example might be where you hook out groupings of products that contain one unique characteristic. For example: "All providers offering blue widgets". Then another page you might have "all providers offering rose-tinted widgets". You might have 500 pages like this all with a different colour.
The descriptions are the same except for one word. The question is, is that enough to make them unique?
[edited by: Simsi at 6:14 pm (utc) on Mar. 6, 2007]
1. Red widgets for sale
2. White widgets for sale
25% Unique (Red/White), 75% duplicated (widgets for sale)
Keeping it shorter like that will lessen the % of duplication
1. Red Widgets
2. White Widgets
50% Unique (Red/White) 50% Duplicate (Widgets)
When it comes to duplication, look at the percentage.....
When you have a very large site with 1000's upon 1000's of pages, it gets a bit hard to make them unique.
If you can write the unique content for 100s of pages, then writing unique content for the titles shouldn't be that much more difficult.
If you're not writing unique content in the first place, then non-unique titles is the least of your worries.
I'm not saying I recommend it but it worked for me....but then I didn't care about those 12000 pages!
Another way to use them on static type pages, such as an article, is to override the snippet and use a more promotional type language to entice clickers.
As in (off the top of my head):
NO - "Learn about the features of red widgets here."
Yes - "Don't purchase that red widget just yet or you won't be entirely pleased with what you get! We will explain all of the features and show you the pros and cons of each so you can make the RIGHT choice for your needs."
Something like that at least.
Not having descriptions in my opinion will hurt your serps on Google and can make pages go supplemental.
I haven't found that to be the case at all. It might give you a slight edge if you have a lot of similar content and low PR, but I have a site with over 10k pages in the index and no meta descriptions, and less than 1% of the pages are supplemental. And many of those review pages rank higher than the manufacturer's own website for their company name. YMMV.
In some cases where you are using PHP for users to post content on your server you cant really have a unique meta description.
Sure you can. Whether or not you choose to use a meta description is completely up to you. But you can indeed control the element, user-provided or not. Also, if the user does not provide said element data, don't output anything to the browser.