Google's Matt Cutts: I Don't Add Meta Descriptions To My Site Because...

Nov 19, 2013 • 8:34 am | comments (16) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

meta descriptionLast night, I covered at Search Engine Land a video Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, posted about meta descriptions.

Matt said that he doesn't add meta descriptions to his own blog posts on his own blog.

He said it is better you leave your meta descriptions blank than to have duplicate meta descriptions on your site.

Best case is to have 100% unique meta descriptions on all your pages but if that is not possible, then let Google figure out what to show in the search snippets by leaving your meta descriptions blank.

Here is the video:

It does make sense...

Forum discussion at Google+.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for HTML tags

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Deven Jadav

11/19/2013 02:29 pm

Yes, i don't from day one. Reason being, if we add and for some reasons description was not so good to match the actual content inside page, It can harm. But on other way round, Google does the same job well. So just a safe move. But yes the main page of every web'section' should have one written with care and it does help more.

Joshua Belland

11/19/2013 04:58 pm

In my experience, adding 100% unique Meta Descriptions helps with the ranking of the pages and the CTR. When I allow Google to choose the content it displays, I can't control what the user sees. That's just my experience.


11/19/2013 05:21 pm

I definitely don't. From a conversion standpoint, if you don't tailor your meta description to your audience, how do you know that what Google sees is the best result? From Matt Cutts' point of view, it's best to consider that his blog is really just a personal blog, and not necessarily meant for drawing visitors and conversions into the website. So in these situations if you don't really care about your search engine performance being lazy is okay. If you want to increase the chance that Google will show your own meta description rather than a random snippet, always make sure you have a 100% unique custom meta description that you wrote.


11/19/2013 09:06 pm

Obviously this is related to web 2.0 websites, because it's easy to write unique descriptions on the personal website, where every article is written by the owner. If you run web 2.0 website, then you can get unique descriptions by : 1. write script to extract first 200 symbols from the text on every page. ( I don't remember exactly was it 150 or 200 or 250 symbols, since did it far ago. Just check the max symbols allowed. ) ; 2. add this script into the code, where your visitors upload their writings. Save descriptions into the separate table on the upload. ; 3. make select from the descriptions table on every page load. You got unique descriptions. P.S. If the content you get from visitors is vague in many cases, then you can create the list of the "emotions", like : opinion, like, dislike, etc etc etc ... depending from your niche. Extract description not from the beginning of the text, but from the beginning of the string, where the first emotion presents. Then you will get emotionally rich descriptions, that can attract attention while in SERP. Enjoy )

Manoranjan Sahoo

11/20/2013 01:29 pm

Hello Sir I want to know what is Google shows in the search result. Please clear me.

Ben Guest

11/20/2013 01:43 pm

And this will lead to confusion. Your title and title description are your ad. Use them wisely, and test those CTRs!

Dave Fogel

11/20/2013 02:00 pm

It could make sense for blogs, but not for pages.

Mark Preston

11/20/2013 02:13 pm

Google do not take the meta descriptions in to account when ranking a site. We know that BUT you need to manually add the meta descriptions as this is your sales message and is what is going to make the browsers click on your site instead of one of your competitors. Totally agree with the point about the descriptions having to be unique.

Emma North

11/20/2013 06:05 pm

This is all very well for posts like Matt's where he is looking to provide information and isn't all that bothered how much traffic he gets. He's not selling anything so there's no real need to call users to action. With most websites there is a definite need to encourage the click with well-optimised Meta, including CTAs and USPs. This is when Meta optimisation is worth the time it takes.

Gracious Store

11/21/2013 04:32 am

I think it is a good idea to leave the meta description blank because sometimes it can be very hard to figure out unique description for every page especially if you have a e-commerce site where you have very many related products. Figuring out a unique description for each product page could be a very hard task to do


11/26/2013 09:03 pm

The only time I edit meta description is to use it as a sales pitch on the SERP otherwise I leave them blank.

William Forrest

11/28/2013 07:42 am

Like what Matt Cutts said. If it is possible that you can create a 100% meta description of each page of your site that would be fine. My opinion is you can leave it blank ,but for your pages that are important, I would definitely come up with my own description for my site services or product.


11/29/2013 01:11 pm

Hello, you have told that about meta title and description for web page. sir i want to know that if in one page already meta data title and description existed and if i dont want it n want to delete it then is it right way to do it? want to kindly reply sir. thank you


12/05/2013 12:48 pm

Change or delete the description and let the bot crawl the page again. Changes should be visible within some can try fetch as Google in GWMT to speed things up, but there is no guarantee. But remember - as Matt also kinda points out in this comment - Google at the end are those that control what is being displayed in the SERPs. They always try to show the most relevant title and description in regards to the searcher's query. This may or may not be the actual title and description, it can be any text on the page or even a DMOZ entry etc. But interesting statement - so rather none than duplicated - and on top it implies there is no ranking disadvantage not to have descriptions if Matt does it himself.

Robert Mangutl

12/05/2013 03:16 pm

Just use Yoast plugin for wordpress websites. It does the job for you.

Spook SEO

01/11/2014 03:58 pm

Yes, definitely. Having unique metatag descriptions is very relevant to avoid duplicate. Still, we have a choice as making unique descriptions are tough we can leave it with no metatag it still depends on us. But i will go for having 100% unique metatag descriptions rather than having none. We all know the effect of choosing it.

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