Google Answers if Meta Description Matters for Rankings

Search Engine Optimization

Google Answers if Meta Description Matters for Rankings

05/14/2022 12:00 AM by TheChiefHustler in

John Mueller of Google explains why the Meta Description element is important for SEO.The subject of whether a meta description may be used to impact search rankings was answered by Google's John Mueller. It's an excellent question because Google recommends that websites have distinct meta descriptions. So there is some sort of effect, but is it tied to rankings? John Mueller answers that question.

Meta Element

A meta element is an official name for the meta tag. A web page's meta element is used to define (represent) document-level information.

The meta component (like all HTML elements) includes attributes that expand the meta element so that it may supply a specific sort of information to a web browser or a web crawler in order to define distinct features of the web page (like Googlebot).

For instance:

  • The meta robots tag informs crawlers.
  • A browser receives information from a meta refresh tag.

Many more meta tags connect with search engines and browsers directly:

  • meta name=“viewport”
  • meta http-equiv=“refresh”
  • meta name=“google-site-verification
  • meta name=“googlebot” content=“notranslate”

Meta element information is collected that is not intended for direct viewing by site users (although it can be seen indirectly via the search results).


Meta Description

The W3C is the organisation in charge of defining HTML standards (among other things)

According to the official W3C definition for the meta description tag, it is intended for use by search engines.

"A free-form phrase that describes the webpage must be used as the value." The value must be suitable for usage in a page directory, such as a search engine.

There must be no more than a single meta element per page with the name attribute set to a value description."


Meta Descriptions in Google's Search

According to Google's snippet documentation, meta descriptions are used to generate search results snippets.

If a meta description is appropriately utilised, it will explain to potential website visitors what the page is about and give them a sense of what to expect when they click on the link and check the site.

A meta description may be as long as you want it to be.

However, search engines have a restriction on how much portion of the meta description they will display. The limit is determined by the amount of information that can be displayed on the user's browser device.


Is Meta Description Used by Google for Ranking?

The individual who asked the inquiry wanted to know if adding place name information to a meta description would assist with rankings. Google's John Mueller responded with a question about if anything in the meta description influenced results, rather than just adding the geographical name.

The following is the query:

“Does adding the location name in the meta description matter to Google in terms of ranking if the content quality is maintained?”

According to John Mueller, the meta description is mostly utilised as a snippet on the search results page. And that isn't anything we would consider while rating.

Having a decent snippet on a search results page, on the other hand, might make it more intriguing for visitors to visit your website when they see it ranking in the search results.


Wrapping Up

There's a lot to learn about HTML meta tags, and this question exemplifies the importance of learning HTML and how browsers and search engines use it. Knowledge of the history of meta elements, particularly the meta description tag, aids in developing a deeper understanding of how all the components work together for SEO.


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