Let’s take a moment to debunk the myth that META tags are important for search rankings. Once upon a time it was true and somehow entered the public’s consciousness, but they no longer have a significant impact on search rankings. Let take a deeper look…

When speaking of META tags there are primarily two that search optimization conversations are focused on: the keywords tag and the description tag.

Keywords Tag

In the mid-1990s the keywords tag was crucial to good search engine rankings. With the keywords meta tag, search engines were allowing website owners to specify which keywords their page was about. This led to widespread abuse and misuse of the keywords tag, which has led to much, much less importance of the tag on search rankings.

While there is no harm in setting up the keywords tag, there also is little to be gained. If any SEO firm or SEO “professional” tells you otherwise, turn and walk away.

Description Tag

In the same way that the keywords tag has been abused, the description tag has suffered a similar fate. Search engines just don’t weigh it heavily, if at all, any longer.

However, it is crucial to realize that the description tag is extremely important for getting people to click-through to your site from the search engine results. Few people outside of the Internet marketing community truly realize and take advantage of this.

Let’s have a look…

If you search on Google, you’ll notice that each result displayed has a blue line of text that also is the link, followed by two lines of text that are plucked straight from the description tag.

For example, if you search “stone ig” (our company name) in Google the results will look something like:

Then a quick look at our homepage’s source code reveals:

<meta name=”description” content=”Stone Interactive Group – Ann Arbor, Michigan based Professional Web Design, Development, Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing Services Company” >

The exact text from the page’s description tag appears in the search results.

By all means use this to your advantage and craft a description that speaks to what type of searchers you are looking for. By creating a description that stands out from your competitors you can very simply create a competitive advantage in search results.

Speaking of which…I think our site could use a description makeover.