Google uses automatically generated ‘snippets’ to create descriptions of your site and title. This is usually not a problem, but if you are lax about meta tags and your own descriptions are non existent, you may end up with a generic wimpy title and description generated from a quick check at DMOZ- assuming you are lucky enough to be listed there.
You can have a lot to do with how your site is portrayed if you do just a little SEO when it comes to your meta descriptions. This is where you can make your site sparkle.
Google states that your ranking wont be impacted within search results by your meta descriptions or lack thereof, but using the best words to describe your site is just good sense.
Google ultimately wants to return the best results for the searcher, and making sure your site is accurately presented cuts down on unnecessary click through and back tracking that increases user frustration and decreases search engine effectiveness.
Create good meta descriptions for your site by prioritizing your content, and using site level descriptions only for your home page (or other aggregation pages). Then move down to your most popular pages and be sure to have specific descriptions that best express each page and url.
Continue down through the ranks from there, until all of your pages have differentiated meta descriptions and you should see the snippets Google is displaying change to reflect your hard work.
Use meta descriptions as a golden opportunity to deliver a rich, condensed synopsis of the page. If you have an item made of a certain material costing a certain amount and available at a specific location for a discount, you can deliver all of that information in a snappy form to help consumers feel that they will find all the best most pertinent information at your site.
For example, a good meta description could be:
<META NAME=”Description” CONTENT=”PetsStyles, doggie coats, black and tan hound’s-tooth, product # 85294, $19.95, London 10% off, order now!”>
This lets customers know that the best black and tan doggie coat is available for $19.95 (10 % off if purchased from the London store) and here’s the product number, love, just order now!
What a lot of quick information, probably scattered around a whole optimized webpage, but delivered here in a form easy to read and understand while giving all the pertinent information.
If you have already been indexed using DMOZ (the Open Directory Project) you can direct Google NOT to use this next time they crawl you by adding a note to your robots.txt file in the form of:
<META NAME=”GOOGLEBOT” CONTENT=”NOODP”>
This tells Google – you guessed it – No Open Directory Project which means no DMOZ! Your meta descriptions will be picked up instead.
This should make your site appear a lot more palatable and make you feel like you are being displayed in the most flattering light possible.