Interesting topic – very interesting in fact, this is quite similar to our meta keywords for SEO post, but the meta description is widely discussed in the search industry at the moment, some believe it carries no weight, some experts believe it does and they have conducted tests to prove it. It was only recently, I attended Brighton SEO 2016 and a speaker clearly stated that meta descriptions do carry weight in the search results. You need to remember that Google takes into consideration CTR as well, so it’s worth having a click-worthy meta description, as well as /probably/ including one reference of your keyword to be on the safe side of things.
There are lots of mixed opinions on the subject, but you need to remember that as an end result of whether or not it does carry weight, if it does, it’s very minimal, but you should be using this opportunity to render text that encourages the user to click – rather than including a bunch of spammy-looking keywords. If it makes sense to include your target keyword, do it.
The gods of Google haven’t released a ‘how to create the best meta description’ guide, but they do recommend to keep it below 160 characters, to keep it legible, readable and to treat it as if it’s an advert – take the chance to correctly promote your site and make a good first impression. Here are Matt Cutt’s thoughts on the meta description:
It’s still very unclear if meta description plays a part in the algorithms, I originally thought that they didn’t, but I have seriously been questioned over the past couple of months whether or not it really does (forgetting about CTR). My advice: write the meta description for user experience, however, if you can try and include ONE mention of your keyword at least.
What are your thoughts on meta descriptions for SEO? Have you seen any success by optimizing your descriptions? Please let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.