Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

The Meta Description Tag

The keywords and phrases you use in your Meta description tag don’t affect your page’s ranking in the search engines (for the most part), but this tag is still an essential part of your overall SEO campaigns.

What Is the Meta Description Tag?

The Meta description tag is a snippet of HTML code that doesn’t appear visibly on your web page, but which is nevertheless visible to the search engines.

It used to be thought that the purpose of the Meta description tag was twofold: to help the page rank well  for the words it contained, and to provide a nice description in the search engine results pages. That’s changed, though, and today the words in the meta description tag aren’t given any significant weight in the ranking algorithms of Google, and only a small amount of weight in the other search engines.

That doesn’t mean it’s worthless or that you can skip creating it. Your page description appears in search results and often makes the difference between a searcher clicking on your listing or skipping right over it. Every page needs its own unique meta description tag, carefully worded to include a keyword or two for the page and to describe the page contents in a compelling manner so a searcher will want to click on it.

SEO expert Jill Whalen explains everything you’d ever want to know about meta description tags in an article on her web site.

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