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Does Google use meta description tag?

Does Google use meta description tag? - answered by Matt Cutts

Summary:

Google is trying to return the best search results for users and for that it uses a lot of different things and choose the ones which they think is the most useful. So if you have a really good Meta description there are chances that Google will use it for search results in other cases they will probably use a snippet appropriate to the search query. Because of that the best thing you can do is to make a useful meta description but if you don’t want to worry about that it’s not the end of the world.

 

Matt's answer:

Let me play a little bit of school on you. So, it actually turns out that we used to not use the 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 will sometimes choose that meta description over a little snippet from within the page. So, in fact it’s moving the other direction. We started out as only having stuff from within the page, and now we’re a little more likely to sometimes use the meta description.

 

We don’t use it all the time

If we think it’s useful for the query, you know, don’t make the same meta description on every single page just as a cookie-cutter because then we sort of think, well that’s not a very useful meta description. So, it’s not that we’re doing away with the meta description. We use it more now than we did, say seven or eight years ago. But at the same time, we think it has to be useful before we’ll use the meta description.

 

The best thing you can do is make a really useful meta description

And then you’re more likely to see that instead of 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 users, and hopefully users will click through and find your content.


by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team

 

Original video: