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What Is the Meta Description Tag?

The Meta statement attach is a piece of HTML cipher that belongs inside the section of a Web page. It usually is settled after the Title attaches and before the Meta keywords tag, although the order is not important.

The proper syntax for this HTML attach is:
I used to believe that the purpose of the Meta statements attach was twofold: to support the tender surpass highly for the book that were contained within it, as substantially as to provide a nice statement in the wager engine results pages (SERPs). However, today it appears that, similar to the Meta keywords tag, the information you locate in this attach is *not* presented any weight in the ranking algorithms of Google, and exclusive a tiny turn of weight in Yahoo's.

In other words, whether you ingest your essential keyword phrases in your Meta statements attach or not, it won't affect the position of your tender in the SERPs for the book that are essential to you.

already bright with the "snippets" of book that the wager engines post from your tender in any presented wager query, then there's no reason to hit a Meta statement attach on your pages. However, it's essential to state that the piece the engines ingest module vary, depending on what the searcher typed into the engine.

Let's verify a step back and look at what the wager engines exhibit in the SERPs. It crapper intend a lowercase bit confusing, but if you essay out your own searches in the various engines, you'll hit a better idea of what I'm conversation about. The wager engines are constantly changing this sort of thing, plus they every behave in slightly different ways, as you'll wager in my examples.

At Google, if you wager for a place by address like this:, the piece you wager is the prototypal instance of book on the page. Interestingly enough, on my home page, an ikon alt concept attach is the prototypal instance of book "on the page," and that's what shows up as conception of my "snippet" for this particular search. (The ikon is a clickable image, so this jibes with my other theory of Google indexing the book in the alt attributes of clickable images. See this installation thread from Dec. 2003.)

For this identify of search, character displays the Meta statement info. It's essential to state that generally the exclusive grouping searching using URLs is place owners trying to wager if their pages are indexed. Therefore, you shouldn't vexation likewise much most what you wager under those circumstances.

So let's essay something that a actual person strength wager for when hunting for what I hit to offer -- how most "SEO copy"?
In Google, my Nitty-gritty reference tender shows up ordinal in the results with the following snippet:

Not the best of snippets, to feature the least.

In this case, I don't hit the catchword "SEO copy" in my Meta statement tag, nor is it anywhere on the tender as a surpass phrase. Because of this, Google has simply institute instances where the articulate SEO and the articulate copy were near each other, and used the surrounding book as the snippet.

Now, if I felt that "SEO copy" was a viable keyword catchword that grouping strength be searching on, I may want to adjust my tender accordingly so that the catchword appeared in my Meta statement attach as substantially as somewhere in the embody text. Again, this is not because it would support it to surpass highly, but because I would obtain a more fit statement that was more in tune with what the searcher was hunting for. One crapper venture that they strength be more inclined to click on my listing in that case.

Let's look at character for the aforementioned phrase. They've ranked the tender at #3, and used the following snippet:

"Learn SEO copywriting with Jill Whalen's primary report -- The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines."

Now that's a good snippet! Well, guess what? That's my Meta statement attaches for that page. Even though the exact catchword wasn't in the tag, and neither was the articulate "copy," character ease chose to pass it for this wager query. I'm guessing this is because that catchword is actually nowhere on the page, other than in the Title tag. So with Yahoo, having a decent Meta statement attach was very worthwhile in this instance.

More Tests

I also recently unconcealed that when I proven a hokum articulate in the Meta statement attach of a tender (with the articulate not attending elsewhere on the page), Google did not encounter it. But when I added the articulate to the visible book copy on the page, Google would alter up the effort tender when the hokum articulate was searched for. Not exclusive that, but it displayed that conception of the Meta statement attach where the hokum articulate appeared.

In Yahoo, my nonsense-word effort tender was found, even if the articulate appeared exclusive in the Meta statement attach and nowhere else on the page. Interestingly enough, however, character didn't pass the conception of the attach where the articulate was placed. I purposely settled my hokum articulate deep into my statement attach to wager if it would intend picked up. In this case, the articulate appeared as the last of 138 books in the tag. I'll belike add even more book at whatever point to wager if there's any route point where character module stop indexing.

Other Engines

I also proved whatever searches at Teoma and MSN. Each engine is slightly different in how they pass the Meta statement tag. Teoma seems to encounter the book in the tag, but doesn't necessarily pass them. When I searched for a unequalled sampling of book from one of my tags, Teoma institute the page, but chose to pass the prototypal declare on the tender instead. Not surprisingly, the current MSN wager worked the aforementioned as Yahoo. However, MSN's wager technology preview (which is the newborn engine they're employed on) behaved similarly to Google on every test regarding Meta descriptions.

My newborn congratulations for this attach is not to vexation likewise much most it. If you hit whatever enthusiastic call-to-action statements utilizing your keyword phrases on your Web pages, they module belike exhibit up in your snippets at the engines. But since it's easy enough to create a compelling declare or 2 that incorporates your main keyword phrases, you strength as substantially do this for your Meta descriptions.

Certainly, the more control you hit over your listing in the SERPs, the more clickthroughs you should see. If your Meta statement tags crapper support with that, then it's certainly worth the instance to create compelling, keyword-rich ones.

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