Are Meta Descriptions Important for SEO

Read the full episode transcript below:

00:28 David Blackmon: Welcome to another episode of WP The Podcast, my name is David Blackmon.

00:35 Tim Strifler: And i’m Tim Strifler

00:38 David Blackmon: Today in episode 819 we’re going to talk about whether or not, meta descriptions are important for SEO. Tim is our resident definer for our audience and listeners who may not know what a meta description is. Tim would you tell them please?

00:56 Tim Strifler: Yeah, so a meta description is a summary of what your page is about. And what Google uses that for is in on the search engines result page underneath the uh the title the the title tag and all the listings there’s going to be a short little snippet well that’s the meta description. And so Google uses that uh to tell the user what the page is about. So the user can know whether or not they want to click on. The search engine we’re going to talk more about that in a second but you essentially use an SEO plugin such as EOS to be able to write your meta descriptions. So that you can customize what is displayed on the search engines result page.

01:38 David Blackmon: Thank you Tim. All right so that begs the question are meta descriptions important for SEO here’s what i want to say. In 2022 i think they’re important but they’re not as important as you think. They should be, um obviously Google, Bing search engines are insanely smart these days. If you don’t put in a meta description you know describing what the page content is about it’s not going to totally kill you because they’re going to be able to you know take a look at the content that’s on the page grab a section of the page that’s going to be as the best description for what the page is about. So technically they can pull it do you want to do that is the question and i don’t think so i think i think you should probably be setting your meta descriptions because at the end of the day search engines like organization. And this is just one of the factors like h1’s you know your heading your page titles your meta descriptions, Google takes it just makes it easier and quicker for them to crawl your page find out what it’s about and ultimately index it and hopefully higher or the highest index that you can possibly get.

03:03 Tim Strifler: Yeah and David’s right the meta descriptions google has stated don’t influence the ranking um like title tags do title tags do influence the ranking um but meta descriptions do affect click-through rate. Because if a user reads a meta description and it’s going to help them decide whether or not they want to click on your uh your page. Your listing in the search engine and go to your website well that will indirectly affect SEO, your actual ranking because if a user say say you’re listed down like you know lower on the page but because of your really good meta description it really entices people to want to click and you end up getting a lot of clicks, well Google’s going to slowly move you up in the rankings because you’re relevant. Right, people are clicking they’re getting what they want and so meta descriptions while they don’t directly influence rankings they do indirectly. And so as David mentioned it’s good to have your your meta descriptions customized for that reason, but also something even when you do have it sometimes Google will still pull a different snippet from your page even if you have a defined meta description, if they think that that’s more relevant to the specific search that the user typed in. So typically your meta description is kind of an overarching summary of your page. Well maybe you have a snippet down lower down on the page that maybe is like really specific and that happens to be what the user typed in and so the google’s going to swap your meta description for that little snippet on your page because that is more specific to that user’s search.

04:45 David Blackmon: Tim did you just say the google the google

04:51 Tim Strifler: I don’t know? did I?

04:54 David Blackmon:  Yeah you did that was kind of funny The Google you know that sometimes The Facebook. So all right there you go, are they important? You got our answer. Tomorrow we’ve got another great topic, the best WordPress backup plugins in 2022. Until tomorrow we’ll see you then.

05:01 Tim Strifler: Take care, bye.



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