Meta Descriptions – Use Them to Get More Traffic via SERPs – part 1

Using a unique meta for every one of your pages can increase click through rate (CTR) on search engine result pages (SERPs). A higher CTR will do two things, increase the number of visitors to your website and increase your rankings for the keywords that have been clicked on.

How Search Engines Use Meta Description Tags

Search engines use meta descriptions describe the content of the page to their users. They place it under the title tag in their search results. So how do search engines describe a web page when there is no meta tag? As example 1 below shows they just pick whatever text they want to. It is usually a selection of text at the top of the web pages code, usually the about the first 160 characters of visible text.

The text shown below in this case just happens to be Word Press blog categories. Not a very pretty sight if you ask me. If you did a search on Google for site:bartgibby.com you’ll notice Google’s default page description inserted in black under the titled tag which is also the link the web page being described. Let’s do the same thing for yahoo. Note that MSN.com or LIVE.com no longer does site queries like this.

Meta Description use by Google.com [example 1]

 

Meta Description use by Yahoo.com [example 2] Part 2 will then document the results, if any, of the changes made in overall traffic

Note: This blog post is unfinished. As I started to do my research I realized that my hypothesis was incorrect. Or at least I have over 60% doubt in my mind that meta description tags really increase CTR. I’ll be Posting about this shortly. So in the mean time you may just want to delete your meta description and meta keyword tags all together. Unless of course you have already taken the time to make every page with unique meta tags.

But if you have not, don’t use them. They are a waste of time. They don’t count towards keyword rankings nor do I think they help with CTR. Even worse search engines will penalize keyword rankings on sites that have duplicated or spam meta keyword & description tags. So don’t bother, even more trouble though is that many major SEO consultants still have or use these meta tags. This is the only reason I am 40% in favor of my original hypothesis.