Meta Descriptions: When you need them & when you don’t?

Team TypeStack
Team TypeStack ...
Nov 22, 2022  . 7 min read
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When and when not to write meta descriptions - TypeStack
When and when not to write meta descriptions - TypeStack
Table of Content

Meta Descriptions are important, but do all web pages need them?

Only someone living under a rock wouldn’t be curious about meta descriptions!

Meta Descriptions are click-worthy, brief website summaries that appear under all search results.

Earlier meta descriptions could manipulate search engine rankings to a large extent, but are they the most sought-after way for SEO even today? If you’re looking for answers to similar questions, here is a guide to learning more!

What are Meta Descriptions?

Remember when the 160-character meta tag was the forerunner for SEO not long ago? A web page’s meta description helps users understand whether or not the webpage is going to satisfy their search. But how exactly can meta descriptions be judiciously used to boost SEO?

How do meta descriptions affect your SEO?

In the day and age where every web page on the internet uses modern SEO tools to make their websites stand out, how does someone make sure to get the best of SEO to their interest? The hunger to learn about meta descriptions can be fed by their role in SEO.

SEO experts spent days discussing meta descriptions and would recommend meta description tags in on-page optimization. Yes, optimizing a good meta description tag helps build quality content for users, but is that enough for significant website traffic? A meta description tag would deliberately be stuffed with keywords to improve website rankings. But that’s no longer the case!

Not very recently, meta description lost its value to elevate search engine rankings. Back in the day, one could easily change the keywords in the title, meta description, and subheadings and see rankings change drastically, which is exactly why Google stepped up and changed the game!

What made Google change meta descriptions?

Did you know Google rewrites page meta descriptions over 70% of the time? Researchers claim that if a meta description does not contain a specific keyword, Google writes its own description snippet. According to SEO experts, it is found that in about two-thirds of cases Google uses content from the first paragraph of the web page to populate the search snippet.

Google’s John Muller has said that there were many key factors behind Google taking this big step. Some of these factors include:

  • how well a meta description and the search query match each other
  • how relevant is the meta description to the search query

What Google was looking for was the easiest way to answer the user’s question. A meta description should justify the user’s need and show what the web page contains. A good quality meta description that helps users and the web page is a win-win for both!

If you’re wondering how users can identify and understand your web page without a meta description, this is what you should know!

5 Reasons Why You Can Give That Meta Description A Pass?

Google’s Ever-Changing Algorithm

No doubt meta descriptions have evolved to find the most optimized character limit, but Google takes time to find the best requirement needed. The character length of a meta description tag has changed several times and may continue to do so, sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. During this testing period, you are better off without a meta description for your web page!

Selective Use of Meta Descriptions

According to researchers, Google sometimes generates description tags from the on-page content, to give users a better idea about the web page. Rather than spending time optimizing a snippet, which is sometimes used by search engines, you can focus your time on optimizing the content of your website.

Google Is Writing The Description Snippet

Yes, you heard that right! Google decided to start writing meta descriptions for websites. The first paragraph of the web page helps Google with the auto-generated snippet. If you’re looking for a perfect snippet, let Google do its job, and you may focus on optimizing the first paragraph of your web page.

You May Want Google To Write For You!

We know Google rewrites meta descriptions to match the search query with the web page. That secretly might be a good thing for you! Your meta description needs to have the right keywords for users to find your web page, and Google can do a better job of creating a dynamic description snippet. Let the expert take charge!

Not All Pages Matter Equally for SEO

Of course, Google recommends it’s a good practice to ensure all pages on your website have meta description tags, but if web pages continue to bring low engagement, is it still worth spending your time on description tags? Spend your time elsewhere!

All contents require maintenance, and saying goodbye to that old, outdated snippet can do wonders for your web page! It’s important to reconsider best SEO practices and invest your time wisely. If you’re spending time on description tags for web pages with no potential to rank, stop right now!

Even though meta descriptions don’t hold much value in search rankings, they provide a great user experience that can indirectly affect SEO. So, when are meta descriptions worth your time?

3 Reasons Why You Must Provide Meta Descriptions?

To Make Sales For Your Product

In cases when the organization needs to make sales, the product and services web page is most critical to engage prospective customers. So a little fine-tuning can create an optimal description for these web pages. By taking these necessary measures, you can get the desired website traffic!

Content That Is Making News!

A more strategic approach to doing better for your website is identifying content that is already ranking high on the charts!

It’s not about quantity but quality. Making changes in meta descriptions for web pages that are nowhere close to good search rankings is a big no-no! Focus your efforts on content that is already engaging and improving your website traffic.

For Your Homepage

Your homepage speaks about your vision, your style, and what you offer. The home page meta description navigates the right users directly to your organization. Users want a refreshing, attractive, and informative meta-description about your services.

The power of a good meta description is quite underrated, and your home page deserves one!

SEO professionals can't work on description tags around the clock. With limited time, one must choose to focus on worthwhile tactics. Don’t allow your SEO toolset to take you in the wrong direction! Know when to consider a description snippet based on web page ranking and when not to. Always remember to write description snippets for web pages with lesser text.

It may be up for debate, but meta descriptions consume most of your valuable time that can be spent elsewhere, like creating a better user experience with an updated website, or web page. In summary, rewriting and replacing meta descriptions can be skipped, it’s time you start learning to work with Google’s changing algorithm, and always remember to deliver high-quality content to the users. Best practices evolve every day, so learn to adjust and move forward!

Summary

Want to make meta descriptions work for your website? The best possible way to stay relevant in the SEO world is when you pay attention to the details. Learn about Google’s changing algorithm, user behavior, what you must have on your webpage, and what you can discount.

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