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No Metas?

July 28, 2010
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Hi Jill,Original Photo From: Tammra McCauley

I noticed you do not use meta descriptions or meta keywords on many of your pages. Why not?

Larry

++Jill's Response++

Hi Larry,

Most of the pages on my site have well-written, keyword-rich content that gets pulled as the snippet description at the search engines, so I don't find it necessary to have meta descriptions on every page.

If I notice a page that is getting found for a specific search query, and I see that the description Google uses in the search results for that phrase isn't very good, I might go in and create a meta description that uses that keyword phrase. Otherwise, I often don't bother. (I'm a big proponent of "if it ain't broke..."!)

As to the meta keyword tag – because the search engines don't use it as a ranking factor, I haven't bothered with that one in years. Although, I recently realized (duh!) that my onsite search engine does in fact use meta keywords to find relevant results within the site, so I'm trying to remember to use it when I create new content such as these newsletter articles.

Hope this explains my reasoning!

Best,

Jill
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Jill Whalen is an SEO consultant and CEO of High Rankings, a Boston SEO company.

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 Foomandoonian said:
The meta description is a good opportunity to give a short tweet-sized pitched to a search user about your page - surely that's better than letting Google pick a passage that may be (and often is) out of context as a small snippet?
 Jill Whalen said:
@ Foomandoonian it depends. If you've got professionally written, keyword rich content, then what Google picks is usually just as good as any Meta description you'll write.

And you can't force Google to show your description. It typically only shows if one or more of the keywords that were searched for are in it. Which means many times it's not going to show anyway.

That said, it's certainly a good idea to write them, especially if your pages are lacking any keyword rich content.

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