Why Should You Use Unique Meta Descriptions?

Feb 16, 2007 • 7:03 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

As I reported recently, Google Recommends Using Meta Description Tag but why?

This Search Engine Watch Forums thread shows the perfect example of why a unique meta description is slightly important.

If you ever do a site: command, i.e. site:www.seroundtable.com and you see:

In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 1 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.

That is a sign you do not have unique meta descriptions.

So then you click the "repeat the search with the omitted results included." You are then presented with unique title tags (if you have them) but shown the same description snippet for each result.

Why? Because it is pulling your header information.

For this reason, Google and other search engines like when you have a unique meta description, so they have something unique to put there. Typically, a normal search would show content from the page - and not use the meta description - but in these types of cases, the top of the source code, most likely the navigation, will be shown.

So in the case of the thread:

When I enter my URL in Google I get the following result.

For example my website is http*//www.xyz.com

Results

"http*//www.xyz.com About Us, Contact Us, Links, Sitemap Copyrights 2007 http*//www.xyz.com All rights reserved."

Yea, but is it such a big deal? I don't think so, because who searches this way? In any event, it is fairly easy to do one of two things or even both of them.

(1) Add unique meta descriptions (2) Use CSS positioning to make your body content come up as high as possible in the source code.

Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.

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Comments:

Michael Martinez

02/16/2007 05:02 pm

CSS has no effect on the source code Barry. Are you sure that is what you intended to say? CSS will reposition text where it displays in the browser after rendering. Off topic: I have noticed, btw, that some people confuse this "Omitted Results" issue with the Supplemental Index issue. They are two separate and distinct issues but a lot of folks seem to assume that if you see the "Omitted Results" tag it means you have Supplemental Results pages, which of course is not true. And it would be timely if you revisited this issue: http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/006062.html

Barry Schwartz

02/16/2007 05:19 pm

Michael, You can use CSS so that the HTML generated has the navigational elements of your pages at the bottom of the page and the content aspects at the top of the page. I'll review that issue now. Thanks.

DamzandKutz

02/19/2007 11:09 am

I have also noticed that Google deindexed some of my pages having unique (but i must say "almost similar") For example i have pages with the description as follows: Most downloaded classical music online Most popular classical music online Most listened-to classical music online My site is dynamic and has thousands of pages so it would be very difficult for me to manually create the descriptions manually and not following a particular template.

Rudy Ramos

02/29/2008 04:56 pm

What kind of meta tags would you suggest I use for my bands website. sudch as;separated by commas Meta description: Custom Meta Tag: Custom Meta Tag Name: Custom Meta Tag Value: I dont have a clue. Thanks

พัทธนันท์ สุขใจ

08/05/2012 05:42 am

In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 4 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.

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