Does meta description affect SEO? [2019 UPDATED]

Hi everyone! I’m sure most of you heard about meta description. However, Does meta description affect SEO? Today I’m going to talk about the meta description and the way it affects SEO.

Right now I’m going to give you the short answer, in theory, it doesn’t, in real life, IT DOES! let’s dig in and understand why. Oh, one quick note before we get to it, if you don’t know what meta tags are, check out the following articles:

Finally, Lets Begin!

Does meta description help SEO

As mentioned above, in theory, it shouldn’t have an impact on your site’s overall SEO ranking and score. Moreover, in September 2009, Google released an official statement and update: Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking.

I’m going to quote 2 important parts of their statement:

Q: Does Google ever use the “keywords” meta tag in its web search ranking? A: In a word, no.

Cant get any clearer than that can it? However, here’s why:

Q: Why doesn’t Google use the keywords meta tag?

A: About a decade ago, search engines judged pages only on the content of web pages, not any so-called “off-page” factors such as the links pointing to a web page.

In those days, keyword meta tags quickly became an area where someone could stuff often-irrelevant keywords without typical visitors ever seeing those keywords.

Because the keywords meta tag was so often abused, many years ago Google began disregarding the keywords meta tag.

Well, pretty self explanatory right? There is more than meets the eye fellas.

What happens in practice?

does meta description help seo

In an indirect way, meta description still has an effect on your SEO. Heres why, I don’t know if you ever heard the term CTR. Meta description has a DIRECT EFFECT CTR. How So you ask?

A meta description is the “face” of our website. Before a user even hits our link on Googles result page. For instance, let’s say I’m looking to buy a car. However, I’m not into just any car, I want to buy the next model: “Audi Q7 TDI Automatic”. I enter google and type in my search query, the next thing that happens is that I get my query’s search results.

I’m telling you right now, Most likely, I will click the link which holds my desired search query in the meta description, this way i know there is a bigger chance that I will find what I’m searching for.(it makes sense when you think about it, this is the purpose of meta description). Hence, I will click that link, only because of the fact it had my desired search query on its meta, even if it will not be ranked first, second or third.

Now that we established that there is a direct correlation between meta description and CTR and ultimately the overall SEO score, let’s talk about some guidelines.

SEO meta description best practices

I will start off by saying that a separate article will follow on how to write a “best-selling” meta description. However, you don’t have to worry, I will point out a few simple guidelines here.

  • Make sure your keyword appears in the meta description – ITS A MUST!
  • Keep it to the point and summarized
  • Don’t you dare spam it with irrelevant and unrelated content in order to try and boost yourself on shady niches. To be honest, despite the general consensus stating that meta description spamming doesn’t work, it still does to some extent. However, it will get you a penalty from Google, and a bad one! you have been warned.
  • Don’t include double quotation marks, that also means, do not quote inside the meta.

Meta Description Optimal length

The last thing I’m going to talk about is the recommended length of a meta description. At the time of writing this article, the recommended meta length is up to 160 charterers. In practice, I found that 155 hits the spot. Feel free to experiment, don’t pass the 160.

To sum up the question of Does meta description affect SEO

As you saw for yourself, a meta description is still an important part of a websites SEO. Don’t neglect it and don’t abuse it and you should be fine.

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