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Do Keywords in the Meta Description Count as Keywords

Creating my own SEO curriculum for the purpose of training employees is a major pain in the ass. So, I’m reading through an “SEO training manual” to see if I’ll be able to use it to train people.

Unfortunately, as so often happens in the SEO world, the material is plagued by unverified, unproven and just plain incorrect information. For example, this training manual proposes the following.

You should ensure you include your most important keywords within the first 150 characters of the [meta description] tag.

4 years ago, I ran a test to figure out which parts of a document Google weighted the most. The meta description was one of the elements we tested. The meta description was never displayed in the SERP for the test keyword, suggesting that Google not only gives virtually no weight to keywords in the meta description but also that the keywords aren’t even indexed as keywords at all.

Unfortunately, I never actually isolated the meta description to test the hypothesis. But even if I had, a lot can change in 4 years.

In the field of SEO, so called “experts” and “gurus” seem to get off on professing theories, hypotheses and shit they just pulled out of their ass as though they were fact. Perhaps they enjoy the feeling of having some “secret knowledge,” even if that “knowledge” is pure fantasy. Inevitably, other SEOs then regurgitate this misinformation, making it “common knowledge” among SEOs. This kind of shit really pisses me off.

So, let’s test it, shall we? Enough with the bullshit. Let’s find out once and for all if a keyword in the meta description does anything.


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tom altman


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