Is Google doing away with use of the meta description?

Friday, August 12th, 2011 Mattcutts Video Transcript

Quentin from Vancouver asks, “In the search results, Google will often display a snippet appropriate to the specific search query – often disregarding the meta description. Is Google doing away with meta description use like they did with meta keywords?”

Alright Quentin let me lay a little bit of schooling on you. It actually turns out that we used to not use that meta description at all. We would only use the snippet appropriate to the specific search query. And only in recent years have we added it where if you have a meta description we would sometimes chose that meta description over the snippet within some page. So in fact it’s moving the other direction, we started out as only having stuff from within the page and now we are little more likely to sometimes use the meta description. But we don’t use it all the time. If you think it’s useful for the query, don’t make the same meta description on every single page just as a cookie cutter because we sort of think that’s not a very useful meta description. So it’s not that we are getting away with the meta description we use it more now than we did say 7 or 8 years ago. But at the same time we think it has to be useful before we use the meta description the best thing to do is make a really useful meta description and then you are more likely to see that instead the snippet from the page. Now if you don’t want to bother that’s completely fine too. We’ll just try to do whatever we think is the smartest and the best for the users and hopefully users will click through and find your content.

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