Is Description Meta Tag Effective in Search Engine Ranking?

Published on April 7th, 2013 by | Category: Search Engine Optimization

Description Meta Tag is the second important thing that search engines check when they crawl a web page. Title tag is the first and most important thing that search engines care about. Like the title tag, the description meta tag was effective in the search engine ranking of the web pages, and so, webmasters were used to optimize the description meta tag too. It is a long time that technically it has lost its effect on the ranking of the web page. However, description meta tag is still important because search engines use it to describe the links on their search result pages. The text you see below the links on the search engines result pages is usually extracted from description meta tag:

description meta tag

Of course most search engines, specially Google, do not use the description meta tag content in all the cases. They display some sentences from the page body that are around the keyword/phrase used by searchers to search.

Your website can be ranked properly even without description meta tag but it has to have a good content in the home page. Search engines need to know what your website is about. They know this by checking and indexing the title, description and then the page body. The description meta tag can be a big help to let the search engines know and rank your website easier but I repeat again that it doesn’t have any effect in the ranking.

So it is recommended to have a good and optimized description meta tag for your website home page.

Description Meta Tag Structure:

Here is the structure of the description meta tag. You should not alter any part of it. Just place your website description at the content=”…” between the double quotations:

Place your website description here.“>

Now the question is how your website description should be? What is the proper length for the description meta tag?

  • Search engines have never officially stated anything about the length of the description meta tag or at least I have not heard anything about it but according to my experiences and what reliable and experienced SEOs advise, the description meta tag needs to be about 15 words length.
  • The description has to have meaningful and grammatically correct sentences. One or two sentences are good.
  • You should have your website main keyword/phrase in the description just once or maximum twice while some other words are between them.
  • The description has to have relevancy with the title and also the page content (body). One of the best ways to make this relevancy is having the same keyword/phrase you have in the title and page content, in the description.

Your website description should not be …

  • … just the repetition of the keywords/phrases. It should be made up of complete and meaningful sentences.
  • … the same as the title.
  • … copied from other websites.
  • … repeated in multiple pages. If you like all pages of your website to have description, each of them should be unique.
  • … too long.
  • … too short.

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