6 January 2015
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Can Meta Description Affect A Website’s Search Engine Ranking?

 

While performing SEO audits for online business, we have oftencome across websites that don’t have Meta descriptions or use similar ones for all the web pages. Many companies don’t really emphasize on creating an intriguing Meta description for their websites.

Search Engine Ranking | image credit – 1.bp.blogspot.com

 

While performing SEO audits for online business, we have oftencome across websites that don’t have Meta descriptions or use similar ones for all the web pages. Many companies don’t really emphasize on creating an intriguing Meta description for their websites.

Over the past, Google has stated that Meta description is not that important in terms of search engine ranking a video at Google Webmaster [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK7IPbnmvVU] Central’s YouTube channel mentions the role of Meta description. In the video Matt Cutts says:

“Even though we sometimes use the description Meta tag for the snippets we show, we still don’t use the description Meta tag in our ranking.”

Since Meta descriptions don’t boost search ranking people don’t always make the effort to write a good description for their website. Many SEO’s are still confused about the whole concept because websites have noticed ranking improvement after adding well written Meta descriptions to their pages. Now, how did that happen!

If the question is, “Does Meta descriptions affect your search ranking?” The answer is “NO, it doesn’t”. But here is the catch – it CAN have an indirect effect.

Importance of Meta description :

Once you understand the significance of Meta descriptions, you will find it is really easy to create engaging snippets for your content. After understanding the benefits of these descriptions you will be inspired to create the best ones for your webpages.

Let us understand the connection between search engine rankings and Meta description.

We completely trust Google when it says “the content in a meta description does not influence the search algorithm”. From an algorithmic point of view, it is not mandatory to put all your keywords into your search engine snippets. The keywords and content you mention in a Meta description are not considered by the search engine algorithm.

There are more than 200 search engine factors that Google takes into consideration before ranking a web page. User behavior and click-through rate (CTR) influence these factors. They play a crucial role in determining a website’s rank.

Google’s main objective is not to list your website but to provide the most relevant and useful links without confusing searchers. Meta descriptions can help the search engines to point the users in the right direction.

Search Engine Ranking 1 | image credit – elviowebdesign.com

 

Having an engaging Meta description can boost CTR. No matter how great your website design or SEO services are, it becomes meaningless if users don’t click on your website listings.
A high CTR along with browser rate or dwell time indicates better user experience and relevance of the page.  Hence, a professionally designed web page snippet can provide numerous opportunities for increasing page rank by bringing more visitors to your business website.

However, that does not mean you stuff keywords into your Meta description.  Here are some pointers for writing an engaging Meta description :

– Be descriptive
– Maintain some curiosity
– Make an influence
– Maintain the length

Although these keywords will not improve rankings, using the right words in your description can influence the searcher. Let’s take an example: If I’m searching for “how to lose weight for your wedding”.

 

Search Engine Ranking 2 | image credit – drive.google.com

 

I personally would prefer to check out this page as the Meta description uses all the right words at the right places to influence me.

Search Engine Ranking 3 | image credit – drive.google.com

 

The above mentioned snippet by SparkPeople is perfectly designed as compared to the one mentioned below. This one does not really explain why surfers should visit their page.

 
Search Engine Ranking 3 | image credit – drive.google.com
The bottom line is if you are using your website for online marketing of your business without giving importance to the Meta description then you should revisit your content development strategy.