This is a follow-up on my buddy Dave’s post a few days ago: “Do Keywords in the Meta Description Count as Keywords”
He tossed out a test which checked to see if keywords in the meta description were a good, helpful thing…it turns out, then are not. Worthless in fact.
Here is what he did – he posted the article and then, as the test, put a made up word in the meta description “skiraluntants” – here it is:
The site was published and percolated for a few days and was indexed by Google. We know this because if we search for the page using the “site:” – it will show us it is indexed.
But now search for the keywords (skiraluntants) – no dice.
Even in Google’s own documentation about Webmaster tools is doesn’t ever say that the description tag will be used for search – they say “This tag provides a short description of the page. In some situations this description is used as a part of the snippet shown in the search results”.
Google clearly states “Even though we sometimes use the description meta tag for the snippets we show, we still don’t use the description meta tag in our ranking.” Many SEO’s and other “gurus” still insist it is important and “it couldn’t hurt” – but it is just not necessary.
So – it is a fact. Google does not care about your keywords in the meta description – the only thing they use it for is to show a nice pretty summary for the search to read. Don’t get me wrong – this is SUPER important for readability, it is just not indexed.
This makes sense – they don’t want to allow human intervention if at all possible. If Google used the meta description, then we SEO loving humans could “help” describe the page. By using the meta description for the SERP, then we can at least help the searchers find what they are looking for.