Meta Descriptions

We get a lot of questions regarding Meta Descriptions, how to create them in All in One SEO and the way that search engines (especially Google) handle them.  

It is important to note that no plugin can force search engines such as Google to display something in the search results that they don’t want to display.  

Google may decide it will use its own description based on the term that has been searched for and the relevant content on your site. More often, their description will be more relevant to the searcher than a Meta Description you write.

You can find more information on why doesn’t the title and description you set appear in search results in our documentation here.

Your Meta Description serves two purposes:

  • It tells search engines what each page of content is about
  • It shows up in search results, which tells people what your content is about

Your Meta Description doesn’t actually affect your placement or ranking in the search engine results, but it is extremely important for what appears on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

The Meta Description is what people see and it helps them determine whether or not to visit your site.  Remember, high rankings are meaningless if nobody clicks on the links because the description isn’t appropriate or is meaningless.

Quality Guidelines for Meta Descriptions

Google has some important quality guidelines for meta descriptions. Complying with these is very important in increases the chance that they will use your meta description.  

Here are their guidelines:

  1. Make sure every page of content has a meta description.
  2. Each meta description must be unique, absolutely no duplicates are permitted.
  3. Descriptions must be descriptive, avoid keyword stuffing.

Here is a link to the full quality guide posted by Google – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35624?hl=en

For further reading, check out our Quality Guidelines for SEO Titles and Descriptions.