Google and Description Metatag


I know that the description tag is irrelevant for SEO but obviously is useful for enticing people into a site. I have unique content for the description tag on each page.

I’ve done an SEO check this morning and have two keyphrases that we’re on page one for. Both link to the site home page. One link shows the content of the description tag. The other has an extract from the site that doesn’t make any sense the way that Google have chosen to abbreviate it.

Is there anyway of changing how Google is describing the site or forcing the use of the description tag.

Many thanks in advance for any advice.

Do you? I thought it was very important!

Is there anyway of changing how Google is describing the site or forcing the use of the description tag.

Just add your own meta description. Google will only make up its own if you don’t provide one. :slight_smile:

I don’t know of any way to force Google to use the description. It usually ignores the description only when it isn’t relevant to the search phrase, and then it will display extracts of text from the page that show words from the search phrase. The point then is that, by highlighting the words that the searcher has used, it shows them that the page is relevant to what they’ve asked for, when that might not be immediately obvious from the description if you’ve used different words.

Ralph - as mentioned, the page does have a defined description tag but Google is ignoring it. I’d also be interested to know why you say the description tag is very important when my understanding is that Google Yahoo and Bing all completely ignore it. My statement might have been slightly sweeping but was intended to make clear that this wasn’t about the SEO value of the description tag but the likelihood of enticing click through.

StevieD - yes makes sense but slightly frustrating when their selection doesn’t make any sense out of context. I’ll add the search term to the description and see if that helps.

From Google Webmaster Tools help:

The HTML suggestions page shows you potential issues that Google found when crawling and indexing your site. We recommend that you review this report regularly to identify changes that potentially increase your rankings in Google search results pages while providing a better experience for your readers.

These issues don’t prevent your site from being crawled or indexed, but paying attention to them can improve the user experience and even help drive traffic to your site. For example, title and meta description text can appear in search results pages and useful, descriptive text is more likely to be clicked by users.
Sounds to me as if Google, at least, regards the description tag as pretty important.

Edit: Just found this on Bing:

On-Page SEO

Inside the <head> code

Titles should be unique, relevant, and approximately 60 characters long

Descriptions should be unique, relevant, grammatically correct, and 160 or fewer characters

Must have only one title and description per page on my site

Apparently Bing likes them, too. :slight_smile:

They don’t “completely ignore it” – they use it to provide the text snippet. It won’t necessarily affect where your site appears in the results pages, but it will affect the number of people who click on the link. SEO isn’t just about getting to that mythical #1 spot, it’s about maximising your click-through rate from potential customers – ie, getting as many good prospects (rather than people who your site isn’t really aimed at) as you can to visit your site. The presentation of your site in the results page is important in this regard, maybe not quite as important as appearing in the top few but still something that you should work on.

I know why meta description is important and how much search engine give importance to meta description. but my question is how to add Anchor tag in meta description tag? So, please give me the example or any syntax to work.

The meta description is just plain text, you can’t add an anchor tag or any other formatting to it.

Search engines are not giving importance to the meta tags. We are using meta tags to provide user to the information about that page because when we are searching any keywords on search engine these keywords are providing reference links