What is a Google Description and Why Do We Care?
Recently Google expanded the number of characters in the description meta tag from 160 characters to about 320 characters.
Each page of a website can have a short coded “description” called the meta-tag description. It is the unique code that is on each web page that is invisible to viewers but provides a description of each web page. The HTML code looks something like this:
< meta name=”description” content=”Describe your web page here.”/ >
In the early days of SEO, meta-tags were deemed high priority in the SEO world. Business owners could barely comprehend what search engine optimization “specialists” were talking about. And many Black Hat SEO business sprung up quickly updating this code – something that business owners could not do unless they learned HTML and had software such as Adobe’s Dreamweaver to edit the code.
Quickly businesses were catapulted to the top of Google search results but just as quickly Google caught onto the various Black Hat tricks that were being used to improve search results… spamming. And in a short time, Google seemed to begin to ignore the meta tags.
Here in 2009, Matt Cutts talks about not using the “keyword” meta-tag for search engine ranking.
What about Descriptions?
Well to understand the importance of the description meta-tag all you need to do is go to google.com and type in a search term and press search. Below the title of each search result is a “description” of that page. If someone doesn’t invest the time or marketing budget to optimize their website and they don’t have a description – then Google will scan the content of the page and place something of their choosing to use as the search result description.
Well if you conduct searches that might land of various pages of your website, you might not agree with what Google’s programs have used to describe your web page. You can have your Description Meta Tag updated to reflect your business.
Scanning Search Results & Clicking…
The other even more important role of the description is getting someone to click on your page. You might have excellent search results for a large number of keyword phrases, but is anyone clicking? Get your SEO specialist to optimize your Description Meta Tag to help drive targeted traffic to your website.