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What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO is improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site or page from the search engines using natural organic and algorithmic search results (SERPs).

SEO is actually a component of SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Which encompasses many avenues with which to promote a web site or page.
If you have come here looking for SEO help, you have found a blog that can help you. There is much information here to be held and please feel free to comment anytime...Even with a question.

September 29, 2007

Google Singing the Meta Song

Wow, I popped open the Google Webmasters Blog and see a post where Google is recommending webmasters use Meta descriptions. I personally do this for many pages, for the exact same reason Google cites in the post. Recently, I was involved in a forum thread where another poster very strongly believed otherwise. He believes Google does a great job with the snippets and I would be "screwing" myself out of that by using a Meta description. I tried to present some examples of cases where the snippet, just sucked. However, he felt that was a coding issue, and using the Meta was only putting a band aid on a bigger problem. I don't totally disagree with his position on this. If I have a page that I cannot accurately describe with a Meta description, because it has to many topics (sometimes by nature)...I will generally go with the snippet. Otherwise, I am most likely to go with a good old fashioned Meta description. Google says:

Why does Google care about meta descriptions? We want snippets to accurately represent the web result. We frequently prefer to display meta descriptions of pages (when available) because it gives users a clear idea of the URL's content. This directs them to good results faster and reduces the click-and-backtrack behavior that frustrates visitors and inflates web traffic metrics. Keep in mind that meta descriptions comprised of long strings of keywords don't achieve this goal and are less likely to be displayed in place of a regular, non-meta description, snippet. And it's worth noting that while accurate meta descriptions can improve click through, they won't affect your ranking within search results.

So lets run through some basics necessary to write a good convertible Meta description. Firstly, the most important thing is your mindset...This tag is for HUMANS. It is in essence a summary and sales pitch for the page. Now, you don't want to get overly promotional in your language and grammar...But you are seeking conversions here.

  1. Avoid repeating title information.

  2. Spell check please.

  3. Keep the fancy grammar and symbols out. Regular grammar expression only.

  4. It is not a keyword list, you are seeking clicks from surfers.

  5. Describe the page, not the site.

  6. Each page should have it's own unique description. I believe this helps to avoid duplication for those "cookie cutter" pages as well.

  7. Google suggests product description, manufacturer, and price is good too for product type pages.

  8. Your description should be no more than 256 characters including spaces, but Google only displays 140.

  9. I treat them like a newspaper classified Ads. Get the information out in limited space with the intent to sell.

So, 2 schools of thought here...But Google has made it's position known. Additionally, if you want to use the Google snippets, you need to just remove any Meta descriptions you have. If you have no Meta descriptions defined, but have used and editor...You might peek at your serps and code to make sure you aren't displaying some garbage like "page description here". Yes I have seen these for descriptions, and titles.

Peace and SEO

Melanie Prough

DIY Your SEO With The SEOCog
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